Following the appearance of two stories in The New Yorker, German author, playwright, and journalist Maxim Biller makes his English-language debut with a collection of remarkable and beautifully wrought short stories, Love Today.
These twenty-seven exquisite vignettes reveal the frustration, longing, and loneliness of human intimacy and love in the twenty-first century. A moment of dialogue between two people seated in an empty bar in "Baghdad at Seven-Thirty" evokes fragility, helplessness, and regret. The childhood friends who meet accidentally throughout the years in "Ziggy Stardust" are alternately drawn toward and repulsed from each other; and the fleeting text messages exchanged in "The Maserati Years" change everything between two lovers in an instant. Collectively, the result is romantic, voyeuristic, and deeply moving.
Already a force in contemporary German literature, Maxim Biller has received praise from critics and readers alike throughout Europe for his perceptive, enchanting prose and the hauntingly familiar emotions his stories can provoke. Love Today introduces a new and gifted writing talent, and an accomplished international literary voice.
Maxim Biller was born in Prague in 1960, and emigrated with his family to Germany in 1970. He is the author of three previous story collections and two novels, Esra and The Daughter. In 1999 he received the Theodor-Wolff-Preis, one of the highest awards for journalists in Germany. Two of his short stories have appeared in The New Yorker. Maxim Biller lives in Berlin.
"The course of true love is bumpy indeed for the couples in Love Today (Simon & Schuster), Maxim Biller's first story collection to be translated into English. Set mainly in Germany and the Czech Republic, with side trips to Tel Aviv, France, and New York, these wry, elliptical narratives chart the passions and the discontents of men and women who vanish from each other's lives and reappear without notice, and whom Biller often catches at the moment of confronting the mystery of what keeps them together, or what has driven them apart. In "Seven Attempts at Loving," after a long separation childhood sweethearts meet by accident at a tram stop in Prague; in "Baghdad at Seven-Thirty," a man and his much younger girlfriend watch war news coverage in a bar, straining for a glimpse of the man's American soldier son, about to be deployed to Kuwait; and in "The Architect," an artist named Splash and his Lebanese lover distract themselves from their problems by spying on a neighbor. Deceptively transparent, Biller's brief, gossamer fictions may remind you of narrative poems in their ability to simultaneously elude and haunt you." -- Francine Prose, O Magazine