Earth Room by Rachel Mannheimer

Selected by Nobel Laureate Louise Glück as Winner of the inaugural Bergman Prize, Rachel Mannheimer’s debut, Earth Room, is a dazzling book-length narrative poem that explores with tenderness how art and love intersect to make one’s life. Transporting the reader across decades and from the Moon to Mars by way of Alaska, Berlin, and the Hudson Valley, Earth Room considers a lineage of sculpture, performance, and land art—from Robert Smithson to Pina Bausch—with observations shaped by gender and environment, history and portents of apocalypse. With an urgent, direct, and unmistakably powerful voice, Mannheimer tests the line between nature and culture, ordinary life and performance.

A work of sly wit and bracing sincerity, Earth Room is an original, unsparing book that Louise Glück calls “a lesson in how to make something of where we find ourselves.”