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October 2020, English
11×16.5 cm, 184 pages, softcover
ISBN 978-3-95679-536-7
Daniel Spaulding

Merging memoir and social criticism in an original fashion, Isabelle Graw lays hold of the experiences and thoughts that don’t flow into her art-historical texts. In elegantly written miniatures, Graw captures radical political, social, and cultural changes that occurred between 2014 and 2017, analyzing how these macro-shifts reach into her own life. She addresses topics ranging from the general turn to the political right, as seen in Brexit and Trump, to #MeToo, men with beards, and Balenciaga. While registering the symptoms of a world that clearly feels different, Graw also meditates on irretrievable personal losses. She describes how we find ourselves in another world after the death of our parents. With the theme of mourning as a leitmotif, In Another World is an attempt at exposing and analyzing painful emotions. Never before has Graw spoken to the reader as directly and openly as she does in these 159 notes.

“No Icon In Another World: A Conversation between Isabelle Graw and Kim Gordon,” hosted by Skylight Books and Goethe-Institut Los Angeles, March 2021. Watch the archived video here.

“Since Walter Benjamin, we have come to view the fragment as an eminently modern form of writing. Isabelle Graw’s In Another World shows us why. In crisp and striking vignettes, this book shows how self-scrutiny and minute observation of the world intermesh and form the dense web of her analysis. This is a unique and original book, literary, psychological, and sociological all at once.”

— Eva Illouz,

author of The End of Love: A Sociology of Negative Relations

“Writing in the aftermath of her parents’ deaths, Isabelle Graw examines aspects of her
daily life with the same deft intelligence that she’s brought to her studies of visual art
and critical theory. These ‘notes’ find Graw in midlife, an urban professional with a partner, an ex-husband, and a child, attempting to navigate a course between social obligations, inner voice, and creative necessity. Blindingly frank, she addresses the questions that envelop her days: work life, the arrival of refugees in Germany, art exhibitions and grief, electoral and family politics. In Another World is both a literary work and a philosophical experiment. Subtly, Graw reveals how impressions and beliefs arise out of circumstance.”

— Chris Kraus,

author of Summer of Hate and Social Practices

“In her book In Another World, Isabelle Graw effortlessly manages the balancing act between reflection, recapitulation, and autofiction. Despite, or rather because of, her intellectual brilliance and pointed style, Graw’s collected aperçus are quite moving emotionally. They are also at times extremely funny.”

— Dirk von Lowtzow,

member of Tocotronic, musician, and writer