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Simple Stories

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Prize-winning German writer Ingo Schulze's first novel, Simple Stories, is a marvel of storytelling and craft. Set in the East German town of Altenburg after the fall of the Berlin Wall, it deftly leaps among an array of confused characters caught in the crossroads of their country’s history: a lovelorn waitress who falls for a visiting West German investor; an art historian turned traveling salesman; a former Communist official plagued by his past; an unsuccessful writer who asks his neighbor to break his leg so that he can continue to live on welfare.
Schulze skillfully intercuts an assortment of moving and comic vignettes about seemingly unconnected people, gradually linking them into an exhilarating whole of tidal unity and emotional force, until we see that all the time we have been reading a novel in glittering fragments, spun by a master. With a piercing eye for detail and a magical ear for dialogue, Schulze portrays the tragi-comedy of ordinary people caught up in the last great historical upheaval of the century.

From the Trade Paperback edition.

Von Publishers Weekly

03.01.2000 – Set in Altenburg, in the former East Germany, Schulze's (33 Moments of Happiness) rich and demanding novel comprises a series of seemingly banal but interlocked stories concerning a group of Altenburg B rger, giving the reader an Ossi worm's-eye panorama of the years since the fall of the Wall. The book begins with school principal and loyal Communist "Red" Meurer's trip to Italy in 1990, where he has a chance encounter with a teacher he fired in 1978, accusing him of fostering unpopular politics in his classroom. Witnessing the emotional destruction of the teacher, who was "rehabilitated" in a coal mine, precipitates Meurer's psychological decline. In the meantime, Meurer's stepson, Martin, an art history student, is struggling to make it in the new capitalist order as a salesman. Then Martin's wife, Andrea, forced to learn to ride a bicycle after Martin has a run of bad luck, is found one day by the side of the road with her neck broken, apparently the victim of a hit-and-run driver. That same day, Dr. Barbara Holitzschek, the wife of an up-and-coming local politician, arrives at a meeting in a tremulous state because she has hit a "badger" with her car. Gradually pieces fall together: the "badger" might have been Andrea, and the Holitzscheks are probably being blackmailed. Andrea's death is merely one thread in Schultz's intricate tapestry; he weaves in many more stories, from the points of view of multiple, interconnected narrators. Patrick, a photographer, gets lost looking for a party; Raffael, who runs a taxi business, has problems at work; Marianne Schubert, a secretary, witnesses a strange scene at her office. Schulze demands that the reader make many presumptuous leaps in connecting the tales, but the complex spirit of contemporary German history lives in his ambitious network of microcosmic intrigues.
Simple Stories
In iTunes ansehen
  • 11,99 €
  • Auf dem iPhone, iPad, iPod touch und Mac verfügbar.
  • Kategorie: Literatur
  • Erschienen: 25.01.2000
  • Verlag: Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
  • Druckseiten: 304 Seiten
  • Sprache: Englisch
  • Voraussetzungen: Das Anzeigen dieses Buchs erfordert ein iOS-Gerät mit iBooks 1.3.1 (oder neuer) und iOS 4.3.3 (oder neuer) oder einen Mac mit iBooks 1.0 (oder neuer) und OS X 10.9 (oder neuer).


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