'Manages something only a few books achieve: it makes you happy' Munich Mercury
Voted the Independent Booksellers' Favorite Novel of the year in Germany
On a beautiful spring day, a small village in Western Germany wakes up to an omen: Selma has dreamed of an okapi. Someone is about to die. But who?
As the residents of the village begin acting strangely (despite protestations that they are not superstitious), Selma's granddaughter Luise looks on as the imminent threat brings long carried secrets to the surface. And when death comes, it comes in a way none of them could have predicted...
A story about the absurdity of life and death, a bittersweet portrait of village life and the wider world that beckons beyond, What You Can See from Here is a story about the way loss and love shape not just a person, but a community.
'Witty and optimistic' Guardian
The international bestseller which sold over 600,000 copies in Germany
Leky's international bestseller - beautifully translated by Tess Lewis - is witty, generous and optimistic . Leky's vision of the world might sound whimsical but there's something bigger, more bittersweet at play here ― Observer
In her optimism and her playfulness, Leky aligns herself with other folklore enthusiasts like Helen Oyeyemi and Ali Smith . There is a satisfying spark to her short, declarative sentences; they induce reflection, and maybe even learning, like the folk tales and Buddhist koans that inform her work ― New York Times Book Review
I loved this novel truly, madly, deeply . I am jealous of all the new readers who will have the chance to discover Mariana Leky's exciting new voice and the joy of meeting the fabulous ensemble she has conjured -- Nina George, author of THE BOOK OF DREAMS and THE LITTLE PARIS BOOKSHOP
As in life, What You Can See from Here reveals its significant players and their startling joys and losses, in patient, unexpected ways. A profound and beautiful novel -- Marie Helene-Bertino, author of PARAKEET
Effervescent, tender and realistically absurd - an utterly charming depiction of life, death, love, and the people who help us through it all. Exactly the kind of novel I am ever hoping to discover -- Juliet Grames, author of THE SEVEN OR EIGHT DEATHS OF STELLA FORTUNA
On finishing What You Can See from Here, I was bereft. Central to the story is the idea of how much of the world to let into our lives, how much each of us can actually manage. Well, I implore you to let this book into your life. It's a wonder you won't forget -- Jessica Francis Kane, author of RULES FOR VISITING
What You Can See from Here is both funny and intensely moving, capturing the town's memorable cast of characters, from superstitious Elsbeth to the lovesick, anxious optician. Leky's novel is about the small phrases, moments, and memories that stick with us throughout our lives, and about finding despair, joy, and love in the smallest moments ― BookRiot
It's impossible to escape [Leky's] spell. And why would you want to escape such an entertaining diversion, anyway? ... Leky's bemused affection for her characters is apparent on every page, and it's infectious ... A generous and funny novel ... We leave Leky's world knowing that every ordinary day holds the potential for something wonderful ― KIRKUS
Leky is not just a gifted storyteller, she is a compassionate one, and her ability to draw readers deep into the core of human existence and share with them the knowledge that everything really is alright, is a gift to be savoured ― Lunate
Manages something only a few books achieve: it makes you happy ― MÜNCHENER MERKUR
A gorgeous novel about life, love, death and hope ― Style
A little of the magic of Gabriel García Márquez -- Denis Scheck ― Hot Off the Press
Full of wise, warm-hearted thoughts on the difficult subject of death and loss. A book to get you through dark days -- Volker Königkrämer ― Stern
One of those books you gaze at in amazement for hours and days after reading it - and actually, always want to carry with you -- Barbara Weitzel ― Welt Am Sonntag
A wonderful, clever, amusing, profound book -- Manuela Reichart ― Deutschlandfunk Kultur
On each page there are at least three sentences that you want to highlight, copy or read to someone -- Judith Liere ― Stern
What You Can See From Here compiles seemingly simple sentences into profound feeling ... by the end of [this] honest, loving novel I was shedding tears -- Marie Helene-Bertino ― Book Marks
The international bestseller by award-winning Mariana Leky about finding your place in the world, even if that place is right where you started.
About the Author
Mariana Leky lives in Berlin. She began her career as a bookseller, and has published award winning novels before What You Can See from Here, an international bestseller which has been published in 14 territories.
Tess Lewis is an award-winning translator who has been awarded grants from PEN USA and UK. She has served as Co-chair of the PEN Translation Committee and is an Advisory Editor for The Hudson Review.