The Sweet Indifference of the World | Granta

  • Published: 04/02/2021
  • ISBN: 9781783785759
  • Granta Books
  • 144 pages

The Sweet Indifference of the World

Peter Stamm

Translated by Michael Hofmann

Christoph, a middle-aged writer, has a story to share with Lena, a young actress. A long time ago, he was in a relationship with a woman called Magdalena, who was also an actress. Lena is currently in a relationship with a man called Chris, who is also a writer. As the two talk, it becomes clear that the two relationships contain echoes, similarities, and coincidences too remarkable to be called coincidences. Are Chris and Lena doomed to repeat Christoph and Magdalena’s broken relationship, or are Christoph and Magdalena a warning from the future? Who really exists? Is there such a thing as fate?

And so begins a uniquely existential game of past and present that will leave no one unharmed.

One of Europe's most exciting writers

New York Times

An elegant dart of a novel as clear and mesmerizing as an MC Escher drawing. I felt both lost and found at once. Peter Stamm is a truly wonderful writer

Catherine Lacey

Translated by the great Michael Hofmann with his usual perfect pitch, this novella raises some challenging questions about memory, individuality and free will

Big Issue

The Author

Peter Stamm was born in 1963, in Scherzingen, Switzerland. He is the author of the novels Agnes, On A Day Like This, Unformed Landscape and the collection In Strange Gardens and Other Stories, as well as numerous short stories and radio plays. He lives in Winterthur.

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The Translator

Michael Hofmann is a poet and German translator. His most recent collection of poems is One Lark, One Horse. He is a Granta contributing editor.

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