ross benjamin


Austrian math instructor and fictional doppelgänger Clemens Setz is haunted by his experiences at the Helianau Institute, a school for children with the mysterious indigo syndrome, which causes those in their proximity to become violently ill. Although the institute is known as a place where children are taught to cope with their condition, Setz can't reconcile the baffling "relocations" of students, odd "sweat cures," and the bizarre brand of bullying he witnesses. Dismissed under a cloud of rumors, Setz pens a series of articles for National Geographic on indigo children, using the research cover to investigate what happened to the relocated children. Indigo reads like an art film, with its story crafted from constantly shuffling vignettes: Clemens' story, that of his former student Robert, odd tidbits of Clemens' research, and vague, eerie case files. Acclaimed in Germany after its 2012 release, this blend of mystery and science fiction is steeped in paranoia and dark atmosphere, but Setz creates suspense by dangling concrete confirmation of criminal deeds just out of reach. --Christine Tran