the bestselling voice of the new Berlin
`This book is about the moment before happiness’
At long last, there is a very stimulating, stylish, entertaining new generation of German authors just emerging who are keen to tell good stories and have very good stories to tell, stories that will travel, stories that are not about the war, stories that are not paralysed by introspection. And the hottest young star of them all is Judith Hermann. Her debut, The Summerhouse, Later, has been the literary sensation of the year in Germany; so far it has sold over 200,000 copies. Hermann herself is an enigmatic, charismatic, sad-eyed creature whose languid manner and idiosyncratic remarks have only contributed to her aura. She’s quite something – dare I say the German Zadie Smith? And her book is principally set in what must be the most exciting city in Europe right now – Berlin; and it’s about an entirely new, young breed of German, possessed of a kind of attitude that that country has never seen before.
This is the first time in ten years that Flamingo has cared this much about anything in German. The book itself is sly, measured, chic, moving and reflective – imagine a Geman version of Jhumpa Lahiri’s Interpreter of Maladies (of which we’ve now sold over 40,000 copies in B-format).
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‘An elegant and perceptive reading on the emptiness that fills our lives. Its author is a master storyteller.’ Independent
‘A collection of striking distinction and poise. Some of the stories touch on brilliance. She can rival the best contemporary exponents of short fiction. Exceptional.’ Sunday Business Post
‘Tales of impressive quality and formidable originality.’ Sunday Times
‘Cool… told without sentimentality, drawing power from the precision of the language and from a laconic style that narrates but refuses to explain… a world of contingent events and casual relationships where happiness is experienced as memory or aspiration but never as present reality.’
Peter Graves, TLS
‘In clear and concise prose, Hermann flushes out with supreme subtlety our ordinary ideals, our unsatisfactory resignation, and depicts the real strangeness of our lives.’ amazon.fr
‘One of the great revelations of contemporary German literature. Hermann explains nothing, does no amateur psychology; her words are evocations – she records gestures and stances, and slips herself with equal facility into the body of a man or a woman. But every time she knows exactly how to choose the right details, and makes her music with them. On finishing this book, the reader is held by it still and regards the world in a different light.’ Le Monde
‘She describes with precision the cruellest forms of absence: through weakness, through laziness, through selfishness, individuals spend time with each other without ever understanding one another or grasping the real nature of the other’s desires. They glide along side by side forever.’ Liberation
‘The fragility of life’s decisions are relayed without sentimentality, with dispassion, yet with a quiet melancholy. An exceptional debut that gives rise to great hope.’
'The little jewellery box also held the red coral bracelet from Nikolai Sergeyevich. Its six hundred and seventy-five little coral beads were strung onto a silken thread, and they glowed as red as rage. My great-grandmother put the hairbrush down in her lap. She closed her eyes for a long time. Then she opened her eyes again, took the red coral bracelet from the little box and fastened it around her left wrist. Her skin was very white. That evening, for the first time in three years, she shared a meal with my great-grandfather.'
Coral bracelets 'as red as rage' from Russian lovers; a sad old woman who nonetheless 'sometimes sang and winked with her left eye and laughed till the tears came'; country houses 'away from Berlin, linden trees out front, chestnuts in the back, sky above.' 'The Summer House Later' is an elegant, measured, reflective collection of stories which captures beautifully the promise of bright colours lying just out of reach of our grey daily routines.
Set in and around Europe's fastest-growing, fastest-living city, Berlin, these stories take as their starting point the monotony of modern urban life – the endless antennas and chimneys, the pigeons in the gutters – and looks beyond them to 'the narrow strip of sky over the rooftops.' The literary sensation of the year in her native Germany, Judith Herman is a wonderfully talented young writer whose ability to find drama and beauty in the smallest, most trivial moments makes 'The Summerhouse, Later' a very special debut indeed.
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Book Description Flamingo / HarperCollins, 1998. Book Condition: Very Good. First Edition. N/A. Former Library book. Great condition for a used book! Minimal wear. Bookseller Inventory # GRP82757460
Book Description HarperCollins, London, 2001. Hardcover. Book Condition: NF. Short stories, translated from the German by Margot Bettauer Dembo. 138 . pages. NF. Light shelfwear. Scuff to back cover. Bookseller Inventory # 1040993