If people were evil, and I wished to be good, then I had to make sure that I was the opposite of a person.
When Ida, a Dutch climatologist, accepts an internship at a climate research institute in the Italian Alps, it means leaving her girlfriend Robin behind in Amsterdam. As she and her new colleagues prepare to demolish a decommissioned hydropower dam, Ida finds herself grappling with love, loneliness and her place in a society unwilling to confront global warming.
An unflinchingly honest narrative of vulnerability, longing and introspection is disrupted by essays and poems, creating an incisive, witty and devastatingly smart portrait of how we live now. Distilling all our contemporary fears, Marsman examines what we must face head-on if we – individuals, humanity, the world – are to survive. And she asks us: if we are to survive, what is our impetus? For what are we fighting?
Startlingly unique, timely and ultimately deeply moving, The Opposite of a Person is a dazzling, cerebral tour-de-force, a poignant love story and an urgent, unforgettable call to arms.
‘An extraordinary and gripping novel of ideas.’ – NRC Handelsblad
‘A surprisingly playful novel . . . Every page is engaging.’ – De Groene Amsterdammer