One day, Lola Randl, a filmmaker living in Berlin, decides to turn her back on her life in the German capital and to cultivate a garden in the countryside. The Uckermarck is one of the less populated region of Western Europe. Lola tries to keep herself busy with seedtimes and quality of the soil, pest control and weeds, trimming and warehousing technologies. But this new inclination towards nature and a less complicated life is hardly a success: to her husband she will add a lover and when her relationship with her analyst becomes too intimate, she replaces him with a therapist. While Lola brings the city to the countryside and slowly understand that you can‘t run away from yourself, the garden starts to bloom like the village life enriched with Japanese pastry cooks, artists, utopian and happiness-searcher of all kind.
Nominated for the German Book Prize 2019 Franz Hessel Prize 2020
English sample translation available
French sample translation available
Complete Spanish translation available
Complete German original text available
Lola Randl, born in 1980 in Munich, works as a screenplay writer and filmmaker. The Big Gardening Book was her first novel.
"'The Big Gardening Book' is [...] a book full of charm and chutzpah." - Katharina Teutsch, Die ZEIT Literature
"Lola Randl's 'Der [G]roße Garten' is instructive and entertaining. [...] The special charm lies in the way Lola Randl relates nature and human constitution in a witty, surprising way." - Jörg Magenau, Süddeutsche Zeitung
"Perhaps no one has ever made the willows stand in the wind so beautifully." - Katrin Schumacher, Deutschlandfunk
"Just grow vegetables and breed saddle pigs? This novel tells about the difficulties of such an escape, full of poetry and friendly mockery. 'Thomas Bernhard in friendly' has already been called Lola Randl. How fitting." - Mirjam Sperlich, Reutlinger General-Anzeiger