Not Land, Not Sea

Can one start all over again? How many times can one invent oneself anew?

Laurits calls himself Lawrence Alexander and sails the world as an on-board pianist. Always well-dressed he is the man at the keyboard. He cannot and does not want to be anything else.
But one day something unexpected conjures up his memories: Can he start all over again?

NOT LAND, NOT SEA narrates the story of a Laurits, who, time and again, has to invent himself anew. Growing up in bourgeois Stockholm with a strict father and a tense mother what he loves most are his piano lessons with Ms Andersson.
A childhood of mixed feelings comes to an abrupt end when Laurits fails the admission test to the conservatory - his only ambition.
Instead he becomes a doctor, marries and only on the occasion of his tenth wedding anniversary discovers that his father had used his influence to manipulate the result of Laurit's piano exam. Upon realizing his life was built on sand he makes a crucial decision.


»Anne von Canal relates a story of decline and survival through the use of innumerable beautiful images and in brilliant language that is eminently readable.«

»Anne von Canal is an insightful and precise observer.«
NDR Kultur

Original Language

German, mare Verlag

Further Editions

paperback - Rowohlt
audio book - Lübbe

Available Material

German pdf
English sample

Rights Sold

  • Estonia Varrak
  • France Slatkine
  • Latvia Vesta-LK

© Mathias Bother

Anne von Canal

was born in 1973 and received her university degree in Scandinavian and German studies. She worked ten years in the publishing industry and as a translator before dedicating herself to her own writing. She makes her home alternately in Hamburg and on the Moselle River. Her debut novel DER GRUND was a booksellers' love.