Tectonic Shifts in Antje Rávik Strubel’s Kältere Schichten der Luft, Sturz der Tage in die Nacht, and In den Wäldern des menschlichen Herzens: Mapping Change

Document Type


Publication Date

Winter 2021


Following Antje Rávik Strubel’s declaration that her last three novels form a trilogy, this article traces Strubel’s use of geography and water in the three disparate novels and delineates connections that mark changes in our social landscape. The structural and narrative analysis of “tectonic shifts” uses queer and ecocritical perspectives—such as Jack Halberstam’s emphasis on “detouring and getting lost” as a queer strategy of inclusivity and transformation—to open up these elemental themes and metaphors of geology, atmosphere, and water. Strubel’s use of a frame story in the third installment activates readers to notice the shifting plates of our social understanding. And thus the trilogy marks new map coordinates that extend beyond monogamy and heteronormativity. (BN)