Translated by Margot Bettauer Dembo.
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 Summerhouse, 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 Hermann is a wonderfully talented young writer whose ability to find drama and moments makes 'The Summerhouse, Later' a very special debut indeed.