About Uncle

by Rebecca Gisler


In a small seaside town on the French coast lives Uncle. He shares his house with his niece and nephew, who look after him when they could be doing something – anything – else. A disabled veteran with odd habits, Uncle is prone to drinking, hoarding and gorging, not to mention the occasional excursion down into the plumbing, where he might disappear for days at a time. As the world begins to shut down, Uncle and his niece are forced even closer still. She starts to watch his every move – every bathroom break he takes, every pill he swallows – and finds herself relying on this man, her only companion.

144pp, paperback with flaps, £12.99
ISBN 978-1-908670-93-9
Publication date: 20th February 2024

Press & Reviews

‘Disquieting, tender, painfully precise, the language of Gisler is a language of embodiment. To read Uncle is to become him.’ – Molly McGhee, author of Jonathan Abernathy You Are Kind

The prose is both horrible and beautiful... delves impressionistically and impressively into the complicated, cellular history of an entire family. – Catherine Taylor, The Irish Times

'A cumulative portrait of a family is drawn with dark humor and inexhaustible affection…Through a series of digressions that seem to pull from Beckett, Kafka, and entomology, the narrator recounts the life of her mother’s brother, passing from a delightfully grotesque focus on his body (“I found that Uncle had indeed escaped through the hole in the toilet”) to an expansive and deeply empathetic vision of his past.' – Jasmine Vojdani, Vulture

'Gisler fills each page with breathless and winding sentences that infectiously convey the narrator’s exasperation with Uncle... a cockeyed yet authentic depiction of the relentlessness of family obligations.' Publishers Weekly 

'About Uncle is a diamond-sharp gem of a novel about the inescapable bonds of family. Once you meet him, you, too, will never be free of Uncle.' – Stephen Sparks, Point Reyes Books (Point Reyes, CA)

A dazzling and intoxicating story that takes a microscopic view at the banal and unnerving details of family dynamics. – Sharon Beriro, Asymptote Journal

‘Gisler urges us to reflect on what it is to be different. The uncle stumbles through life, as does the narrator and her brother. Together they reveal a hidden aspect of society, full of invisible people who are square pegs in round holes.’ – Les Inrockuptibles

‘A penetrating novel on disability, family relationships and modern times.’ – Florence Bouchy, Le Monde des livres

‘About Uncle is a novel of rare originality. A revelation from a unique talent.’ – Swisscommunity.org

About The Book


Rebecca Gisler was born in Zurich in 1991. She writes in German and French and translates her texts from one language into another. She has published poetry and prose in numerous magazines and anthologies. She is the co-organizer of the series Teppich in the House of Literature Zürich. In 2020 she won the 28th Open Mike literature competition. About Uncle is her first novel, and it was awarded the 2022 Swiss Prize for Literature.


Jordan Stump is one of the leading translators of innovative French literature. The recipient of numerous honors and prizes, he has translated books by Nobel laureate Claude Simon, Jean-Philippe Toussaint, and Eric Chevillard, as well as Jules Verne’s French-language novel The Mysterious Island. His translation of NDiaye’s All My Friends was shortlisted for the French-American Foundation Translation Prize.