Joris has lived with his aunt and uncle in a village since his early childhood; his father died young and his mother moved to Spain. He is a quiet and introverted child who, his relatives fear, resents the loss of his parents deeply. The gentle rhythm of life, however, is about to be disturbed, awakening in Joris charged memories of his dead father. With the past swathed in obscurity and rumours circulating about his parents, Joris feels insecure and vulnerable and his attempts to reconstruct his family history from photos are continually frustrated. On one occasion the village teacher, an amateur filmmaker who records local events and celebrations, accidentally threads a film into the projector backwards. So Joris is offered a rare glimpse of his father only to see him disappearing backwards into the past. As Joris grows up and his aunt and uncle age, the end of his youth approaches, as does a definitive confrontation with his father. In a style marked by extraordinary elegance and subtlety, Erwin Mortier brings a lost world back to life. Shutterspeed is an enchanting novel which evokes all the mystery, wonder and confusions of childhood.
Erwin Mortier was born in Ghent in 1965 and made his debut with the novel Marcel, which won several literary prizes in Holland and Flanders and acclaim throughout Europe. His subsequent novels My Fellow Skin, Shutterspeed and the short novel All of our Days conclude his exploration of childhood and the nature of memory. He is the author of three collections of award-winning poetry as well as a collection of essays and shorter prose.