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PUBLICATION DATE: April 1, 2021
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By (author) Saskia Goldschmidt
Femke, her mother Trijn and her grandfather have very different ideas about how to run their family farm. Tensions between mother and daughter are growing; Femke wants to switch to sustainable growing principles, whilst her mother considers this an attack on tradition. To make matters worse, their home province of Groningen is experiencing a series of earthquakes caused by a fracking operation near their farm. While the cracks and splinters in their farmhouse increase, the authorities and the state-owned gas company refuse to offer the local farming community any help. In Shocked Earth, Saskia Goldschmidt investigates what it means to have your identity intensely entwined with your place of birth and your principles at odds with your closest kin. And how to keep standing when the world as you know it is slowly falling apart.
Reviews of Shocked Earth
"Shocked Earth exquisitely captures the way our lives and identities are interwoven with the land we live on, and how its destruction will ultimately be our own. A powerful portrait of a family, an exploration of love and grief, it is perhaps most of all an essential call to action – I was both heartbroken and inspired." — Helen Sedgwick "A novel with great ambitions, which remains credible." "…a rural novel in which the characters by changing circumstances forced. With beautiful heroines and accomplices, opponents and a wonderful character like Fokko. " — Louis Stiller "Shocked Earth shows us the impact of natural disasters on peoples lives. This is what literature can do." "Goldschmidt manages to portray the lives of farmers in great literary style, and with authentic vocabulary." "Goldschmidt writes eloquently… showing the way the North of the Netherlands is held captive by the gas sourcing business." "In order to be able to write Shocked Earth, Saskia Goldschmidt moved to a rural region … worked on a dairy farm and spoke to its inhabitants. This effort pays off in this thorough novel with a lot of empathy, showing how the earthquakes … forever change the lives of the people trying to keep this business going." — Dagblad van het Noorden "Last weekend I read the book in one breath. How little did I know about the problems and life in the Groningen countryside … will definitely recommend this beautiful novel!" — Ria van Halem * bookseller Boekaa Verkaaik *
Saskia Goldschmidt worked in theatre and teaching before becoming a full-time writer. Her first novel, The Hormone Factory, nominated for the Libris Literature Prize 2013 and the Euregio Prize and translated into several languages, was published in the US by Other Press (2014) and in the UK by Saraband (2016), translated by Hester Velmans. It was broadcast on the Netherlands’ Radio 1 channel and released as a podcast in 2018. Goldschmidt’s bestselling second novel, The Vintage Queen (2015), has also been translated into several languages. Shocked Earth, translated by Antoinette Fawcett, is the first major novel about the effects of gas extraction on people living in the Dutch province of Groningen.