Unfortunately my German is not good for much more than reserving hotel rooms and ordering wienersnitzel, which is why I’ve had to wait for the Swedish translation of Jenny Erpenbeck’s Aller Tage Abend (Swe: Natt för gott, Eng: The End of Days).
Erpenbeck draws us into a story which develops into several versions of a Viennese woman’s life and death. In the first, she dies as an infant. But what would have happened if she didn’t die that time? The book is a fascinating journey though lives and the twentieth century, but what I love most about it is Erpenbeck’s beautiful prose. This is a writer who really knows how to represent those very difficult feelings on the border of human existence.
(Kate Atkinson is one of my favourite writers. She uses the same technique as Erpenbeck in her wonderful novel Life After Life from 2014. Possibly Atkinson was inspired ny Erpenbeck’s novel?)