About the book
Spring 1909. Work is gruelling and hazardous at Vulcan, the world’s biggest matchbox factory, in the small industrial town Tidaholm. There are rumours of a nationwide general strike. Among the workers are two young women, Sara and Naemi, both in love with Sara’s husband Salemon, a fervent socialist and antimilitarist. He has been incarcerated for draft evasion, leaving Sara to care for her seven-year-old twins all on her own.
Above the town a presence is soaring, moving unnoticeably, a little astray, like vapour, hovering between the houses and buildings, briefly inhabiting its people. These invisible spectators consist of 46 girls and women that perished in the great factory fire at Vulcan thirty-five years ago. They, a fragmented and traumatized collective, watch in horror as summer arrives, because they know all too well that wherever passion ignites, death will soon follow. For Sara, Naemi, Salemon and the other factory workers, life will change in the most dramatic way.
This dynamic and swarming novel explores community and collective struggle, love and vulnerability, work and ardour. Following their debut with poetry collection Twenty-five-thousand Kilometres of Nerve Fibres (2018), Nino Mick brings us a historical novel unlike any other, where proletarian literature meets modernist poetry.