A fire broke out in the coal seams of their town years ago, and the flames are still smoldering underground. Margaret and Fritzi, the two sisters who are the heroines of "Invitation to the Bold of Heart", the debut novel by Swiss writer Dorothee Elmiger, are the last remaining youth of this vanishing town. Their inheritance is nothing but an abandoned swathe of land ruled by devastation. But the sisters won't accept this state of affairs - they set out on an expedition, determined to piece together the fragments of their family history. Only by learning their own story can they look to the future with hope. When they rediscover a long-forgotten river, Margaret and Fritzi can sense a new life ahead. "Invitation to the Bold of Heart" is a startling dystopian tale of hope and exploration and a testament to the timeless need of youth to rebel against authority.
Dorothee Elmiger is a Berlin-based Swiss writer. Katy Derbyshire is a Berlin-based translator from London. She recently translated Inka Parei's The Shadow-Boxing Woman, also published by Seagull Books.