"A literary event" (Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung): thirteen new stories from one of Germany's finest writers. New Year's Eve 1999, Berlin. At a party to kick off the twenty-first century, Frank Reichert meets Julia, his lost love. Since their separation in the fall of 1989, he's drifted through life like an exile, remaining apathetic toward the copy-shop business he started even as it flourishes apace. Nothing has the power to move him now: his whole life lies under the shadow of Julia, of the idea that things could have worked out differently. But as night draws on to day, the promised end becomes an unexpected new beginning.
Ingo Schulze introduces us to characters as they stray outside the confines of East Germany into other, newer lives--into Egypt, where the betrayal of a lover turns an innocent vacation into a nightmare; into Vienna, where life starts to mimic art; into Estonia, where we meet a retired circus bear in an absurd (and absurdly hilarious) dilemma--or as they simply stay put, struggling to maintain their sense of themselves as the world around them changes.
Mixed in with these tragicomic tales are some of the most beautiful love stories ever to feature cell phones. And throughout, Schulze's masterfully controlled style conceals an understated, but finally breathtaking, intricacy.
Ingo Schulze was born in Dresden in 1962, studied classics at Jena University, and worked as a dramaturge and newspaper editor in Altenburg. For his first book, 33 Moments of Happiness (1995), he won various prizes, including the Aspekte Prize for Best Debut. In 1998 he won both the Berlin Literature Prize and the associated Johannes Bobrowski Medal for Simple Stories. In the same year, The New Yorker numbered him among the six best young European novelists, and the London Observer described him as one of the "twenty-one writers to look out for in the 21st century." In 2005 his novel New Lives was honored with the Peter Weiss Prize and the Premio Grinzane Cavour. In 2007 he won the Leipzig Book Fair Prize for One More Story, his second collection of stories. He is a member of the Academy of the Arts in Berlin and the German Academy for Language and Literature. His books have been translated into more than thirty languages. He lives in Berlin with his wife, Natalia, and their two daughters, Clara and Franziska.