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 […]


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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

My First Murderer

Author: Vladimir Vertlib Translator: Cornelius Partsch Translator’s Note      Mein erster Mörder contains three “life stories;” this excerpt is from the first, titular story.  44-year-old Leopold Ableitinger, who as a 24-year-old murdered a man who treated him disrespectfully and aggressively, speaks to a journalist about events that occurred in Vienna in 1957, when Leopold was […]

Apfelstrudel in Shanghai

Author: Ursula Krechel Translator: Mandy Wight Translator’s Note: The novel Shanghai fern von wo is an account of the experiences of a group of German and Austrian Jewish refugees who have fled Nazi Germany for Shanghai, where they spend the war years. They are from a range of backgrounds, mostly professional middle class, sophisticated Europeans […]