By Andrzej Tichý

A cellist is waiting for his colleagues at Slussen in Malmö. His life is stagnating, but a sudden encounter with a young, homeless man causes something to stir in him. Voices, memories and forgotten languages emerge from his subconscious, taking over and finally changing everything.

Wretchedness is a novel in constant motion, with an unstoppable flow; dividing the present into two parts, as simultaneously and equally impossible as they are inevitable. Andrzej Tichý writes mercilessly and beautifully about poverty and violence, addiction and brotherhood.


First published by Albert Bonniers Förlag, 2016

230 pages


Czech Republic,  Argo
UK, And Other Stories (WEL)


”Despite it’s short length, Tichý has written an expansive novel.”

– Viktor Malm, Expressen

“With a virtuously handled, contemporary language; at once lyrical, literary and philosophical, he gives a voice to the upbringing’s lost ’brothers’. Following this hectic, complaining, prevaricate, appealing, clever, childish, supposedly hard, bragging, desperate and devastated collective memory is like ”hearing” a whole forsaken generation. Despite dark affirmation, despite the absence of hope and belief, it is a magnificent and life teeming elegy.”

– Pia Bergström, Aftonbladet

”Andrzej Tichý is a writer who time after time, with a language that’s singing, tells something important about the Swedish contemporary society. Read him.”

– Stefan Eklund, Borås Tidning

”Post-political, I would call Andrzej Tichý’s captivatingly acute authorship […] A scary and solid story that does not forget to sometimes burst into something moving and beautiful.”

– Jonas Thente, Dagens Nyheter

”Tichý writes a delirious, detailed prose, packed with Malmö-slang and contemporary feelings. The language flows across the pages like a contaminated river filled with dirt, despair and anxiety, an associative continuance of long, broken, almost breathless sentences.”

– Eva Johansson, Svenska Dagbladet

”The darkness that Tichý brings about has an epic, radiant energy. The frenzy in the narrators’ flashbacks shoots up through the depiction like volcanic continents, ”

– Jan-Olov Nyström, Skånska Dagbladet

”In terms of ambition, only a few contemporary authors can compete with Tichý. The same goes for linguistic intensity. His prose rushes forward, roaring with, if you will, dark poetry, and swings it’s rage towards an indifferent present time. Eländet is a furious novel. Yes, I think it is Tichýs best work so far.”

– Ann Lingebrandt, Sydsvenska Dagbladet

”This is literature. Steady and touching. And an elegy for people with a very small chance to escape from ”that place” faith has chosen for them.”

– Inger Dahlman, Motala Tidning

”Authors like Tichý are needed to keep our literature alive. He is drilling frenetically, refusing to neglect the suffering and succeeds to light a spark on a linguistic tinder.”

– Nils Schwartz, Expressen