This inventive novel by Marius Daniel Popescu is a story that takes place between a wake and a funeral and that unfolds amidst the shifting layers of the narrator’s memory. The death of his mother lets loose a trail of memories, and so the past from the ‘land of the unity party’ and the present of the writer and his family life in the guest land, where ‘you put up posters’, collide. Just like the young boy from back in the day the novel’s narrative structure plays leapfrog and ‘tzourka’ with the reader, when playing on and on in the courtyard or playing games on a modern smartphone. The story by Marius Daniel Popescu is grounded in the here and now and juxtaposes the historic toppling of a dictator with multilingual package labellings of vegetables. Les Couleurs de l’hirondelle is a rhythmic soliloquy full of vivid sonority, written by an author with a fine ear for words.

(Jury of the Eidgenössische Literaturpreis 2013)