Tonguecat: A Novel
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Tonguecat: A Novel

Peter Verhelst, Sherry Marx

A Visionary Novel By a Leading New International Writer

Tonguecat tells the story of a city’s decline into chaos and violence upon the arrival of Prometheus, the titan who stole fire from the gods and gave it to mankind. In the Netherlands, the novel has been described as “a cross between Jorge Luis Borges’s mystical labyrinth and William Gibson’s futuristic sprawl” (The Rights Report).

As the novel opens, Prometheus abandons a mythical, primeval world ruled by violence for a cold, earthly city that is perpetually in renewal—a caricature of the city in which we live.

Once descended, Ulrike, an orphaned girl whose body produces music, guides Prometheus though the slums of the city. Prometheus finds himself in a counterculture of squatters, junkies, and storytelling whores—called tonguecats. The fire of resistance is smoldering all through the city; although the court continues to function, opposition to the monarchy mounts, and the king leaves his palace in search of human warmth.

Peter Verhelst’s story, together with the city, bursts apart at the seams. Tonguecat is a visionary novel—and a tour de force of imaginative and surreal writing.

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