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Synopsis

Germany’s master of wit and irony now for the first time in English.

Hinrich takes his existence at face value. His wife, on the other hand, has always been more interested in the after-life. Or so it seemed. When she dies of a stroke, Hinrich goes through her papers, only to discover a totally different perspective on their marriage. Thus commences a dazzling intellectual game of shifting realities.

Why Peirene chose to publish this book: ‘This novella deals with the weighty subjects of marriage and death in an impressively light manner. Shifting realities evolve with a beautiful sense of irony and wit. It is a tone that allows us to reflect – without judgment – on misunderstandings, contradictory perceptions and the transience of life.’ Meike Ziervogel

‘Inventive and deeply affecting, this remarkable fiction lingers in the mind long after the last page has been turned.’ CJ Schuler, Independent

‘A heartbreaking tale of loss.’ Nicholas Lezard, Guardian

‘This is a tale of a marriage gone awry and the potential loneliness of cohabitation ... but Matthias Politycki leavens his grim tale with playful teasing of his reader's expectations.’ Rebecca K. Morrison, Times Literary Supplement

‘A teasing, testing story that makes you want to revisit and seek out those fascinating fragments you might just have missed.’ Pam Norfolk, Lancashire Evening Post

‘Elegantly realised.’ Lucy Popescu, Independent on Sunday

‘A page-turning pleasure . . . this novella has a supreme lightness of touch . . It never feels weighed down by its own significance.’ Rosie Goldsmith, BBC

LONGLISTED FOR THE INDEPENDENT FOREIGN FICTION PRIZE 2012
INDEPENDENT BOOKS OF THE YEAR 2011
GUARDIAN PAPERBACKS OF THE YEAR 2011

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