Following the appearance of two stories in The New Yorker, German author, playwright, and journalist Maxim Biller makes his English-language debut with a collection of remarkable and beautifully wrought short stories, Love Today.
These twenty-seven exquisite vignettes reveal the frustration, longing, and loneliness of human intimacy and love in the twenty-first century. A moment of dialogue between two people seated in an empty bar in "Baghdad at Seven-Thirty" evokes fragility, helplessness, and regret. The childhood friends who meet accidentally throughout the years in "Ziggy Stardust" are alternately drawn toward and repulsed from each other; and the fleeting text messages exchanged in "The Maserati Years" change everything between two lovers in an instant. Collectively, the result is romantic, voyeuristic, and deeply moving.
Already a force in contemporary German literature, Maxim Biller has received praise from critics and readers alike throughout Europe for his perceptive, enchanting prose and the hauntingly familiar emotions his stories can provoke. Love Today introduces a new and gifted writing talent, and an accomplished international literary voice.read more
In the 27 brief stories in German author Biller's collection (his first to be published in the States, and magnificently translated by Bell), characters fall in love, have affairs, spy on their neighbors, break up and do everything in between, all of which is described with a mix of chic simplicity and Hemingwayesque poignancy. In "The Mahogany Elephant," a seemingly banal exchange between two reunited lovers leads to a crystallization of their relationship. In "Baghdad at Seven-Thirty," two people making small talk at a bar come to reveal a complicated bond. In "Melody," a troubled couple's expansive romantic lives are distilled into just over two pages. Some stories disappoint, such as "In Bed with Sheikh Yassin," about a justifiably reluctant bride who fantasizes about another man on her wedding day. Biller's chief concerns--fidelity and longing--are examined from every conceivable angle, and the stories, short as they are, carry an unexpectedly powerful emotional wallop. (June) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved