A "stealthily original" (The New York Times Book Review) debut novel of two people who find each other when they least expect it in a city haunted by history.BR
Walter Baum has one of the most famous voices in Germany. A former television star, he's been dubbing Tom Cruise's lines into German for fifteen years. Now he finds himself nearing forty, alone and adrift. In the apartment below is Hope, a young American woman, isolated in a lonely city. When they finally meet in the elevator of the building they share, what transpires is "an essential love story for our confused and difficult times."(Gary Shteyngart, author of Absurdistan)
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Anna Winger grew up in Massachusetts and in Mexico. Her essays have been published in The New York Times Magazine and the Frankfurter Allgemeine, among other publications. She is also a photographer and the creator of NPR’s “Berlin Stories.” A graduate of Columbia University, she lives in Berlin with her family.From Publishers Weekly:
In Winger's touching and emotionally turbulent debut, the fantasy of new beginnings gives way to a persistent sense of haunted—but oddly comforting—history. Set in Berlin in the late fall of 2001, the novel focuses on the overlapping stories of grieving American expat Hope and has-been minor German celebrity Walter, who's dreaming of a new career in Hollywood. Hope recently suffered a late-term miscarriage and has reluctantly joined her economist husband in Berlin despite a widening gulf between them and her crippling depression. Walter's teenage heartthrob status has withered with age, and now he dubs American films into German. The friendship that blooms between them raises issues about personal and national identity, though their coming together is a bit too neat, as are the many oversimplifications of Americans and Germans that pepper the narrative. The real drama arises between the cities of New York and Berlin; both cities, like Hope and Walter, bear a profound survivor's guilt: the war, the wall and the towers overwhelm individual sorrows. There are a few clunky moments, but the elegant ending and confident storytelling are redeeming. (Aug.)
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