Author: Christine Marendon Translator: Ken Cockburn   Prepared At night I lie down and process light. The secret which extends our life is memory. Plants can’t do it, they are vessels and free will is a ground-note of their being. The idea all growing things share is to construct, with the help of light, heavy […]

About Ghosts

Author: Bernhard Strobel Translator: Mandy Olson   The suspect climbed over the fence Wednesday night, a few minutes after ten o’clock. I saw a shadow move in the half-darkness along the wall of the house next door. It was foggy, so I couldn’t make out much, and the figure — I couldn’t even tell if […]

Dear Darling

Author: Lydia Mischkulnig Translator: Caroline Summers   Translator’s Preface:  This story is taken from a 2009 collection entitled Macht euch keine Sorgen: Neun Heimsuchungen, which brings together nine stories:  humorous and thought-provoking narratives in which the absurd and the morbid disrupt the everyday.  In this story, the narrator is shocked to find her elderly room-mate […]


Author: Lennardt Loß Translator: Helen MacCormac   Shortly before dental technician Hannes Sohr survived the worst catastrophe of his catastrophic life, he cut his index finger on the penultimate page of an in-flight shopping catalogue advertising a pencil made of Californian cedar wood for $179.99, duty-free. Sohr tore out the page and used it to […]

Antigone’s Sister

Author: Lea Wintterlin Translator: Cristina Burack   Translator’s Preface: The cursed Labdacid family is at the heart of ancient Greek writer Sophocles’ Theban plays: Oedipus Rex, Oedipus at Colonus and Antigone. In the first play, Oedipus unknowingly fulfills a prophecy by murdering his father and marrying his mother. His four offspring bear the shame of […]

The Green Frontier: A Fantasy

Author: Isabel Fargo Cole Translator: Isabel Fargo Cole The future stands bright before us; the past remains uncertain. Soviet-era joke 1998 At college I majored in history. It was just after we won the Cold War. Isn’t history over? a friend asked, and I said, That would be boring. This is how it looks when […]

A Strasbourg Sukkot

Author: Barbara Honigmann Translator: Margaret May   Our whole quarter had turned more and more into a “second ghetto,” with many young Jewish families moving in and setting up their “Shearim” house of prayer and instruction in a nearby street. Our local district mayor, who is very concerned with peaceful inter-faith relations, even made a […]

What became of us

Author: André Herzberg Translator: Johanna McCalmont What became of us traces the lives of six narrators –  Richard, Eike, Anton, Michaela, Peter and Jakob – all children of Jewish parents who grew up in the former East Germany.  When the Berlin Wall falls and their plans crumble, each of the characters must find their own […]

Banishment from Hell

Author: Robert Menasse Translator: Fiona Graham Translator’s Note:   Banishment from Hell weaves together two stories: that of Rabbi Samuel Manasseh ben Israel, born Manoel (Mané) Dias Soeiro in early sixteenth-century Portugal, and that of Viktor Abravanel, son of an Austrian Jew sent to Britain in 1938 with a Kindertransport. The first two excerpts are set […]

In the Sleeping Car

Author: Gert Loschütz Translator: Emily Banwell   3 IN THE SLEEPING CAR It has hardly rained at all in the last couple of days, but the wind has gotten stronger, whipping up little sprays of water; it rakes across the fields, long since liberated from the snow, and works its way into the cracks of […]