Prize-winning German writer Ingo Schulze's first novel, Simple Stories , is a marvel of storytelling and craft. Set in the East German town of Altenburg after the fall of the Berlin Wall, it deftly leaps among an array of confused characters caught in the crossroads of their country’s history: a lovelorn waitress who falls for a visiting West German investor; an art historian turned traveling salesman; a former Communist official plagued by his past; an unsuccessful writer who asks his neighbor to break his leg so that he can continue to live on welfare.
Schulze skillfully intercuts an assortment of moving and comic vignettes about seemingly unconnected people, gradually linking them into an exhilarating whole of tidal unity and emotional force, until we see that all the time we have been reading a novel in glittering fragments, spun by a master. With a piercing eye for detail and a magical ear for dialogue, Schulze portrays the tragi-comedy of ordinary people caught up in the last great historical upheaval of the century.
From the Trade Paperback edition.
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|Title of History eBook: Simple Stories|
|Release Date: 12-18-2007|
|Allowed Countries (hover)|
|Publisher: Knopf Publishing Group|
This eBook download is available in the following formats:
|Parent title||Simple Stories|
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Renate Meurer tells about a bus trip in February '90 -- when the wall was already gone, but the two Germanys were not. In celebration of their twentieth wedding anniversary, the Meurers are in the West for the first time, in Italy for the first time. A bus breakdown outside Assisi drives a fellow passenger, Dieter Schubert, to an act of desperation.
Shared memories and provisions.
It just came at the wrong time. Five days on a bus: Venice, Florence, Assisi. It all sounded like Honolulu to me. I asked Martin and Pit how they even came up with the idea and where exactly the money was coming from and how did they picture us taking an illegal trip for our twentieth anniversary?
I was depending on Ernst not to go along with it. The last few months had been hell for him. We had anything but Italy on our minds. But he didn't say a word. And in the middle of January, he asked if we shouldn't be making some preparations -- we were supposed to leave on February 16, a Friday during school break -- and how were we supposed to get over the Italian border, the Austrian border, with our GDR papers? I figured that at the latest, once I'd told him what the kids had told me -- how we'd be getting West German IDs from a travel agency in Munich, counterfeit most likely -- that'd be that, you could count Ernst Meurer out. But he just asked whether that had been why we'd had the two passport photos taken. "Yes," I said, "the two passport photos, our birth dates, height, and color of eyes -- that's all they need."
It was just like always. We packed clothes in our dark green suitcase, put dishes, cutlery, and food in the black-and-red- checked bag: canned sausages and fish, bread, eggs,...