On a Day Like This (Paperback)

By Peter Stamm, Stamm, Michael Hoffman (Translator)
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A new novel of artful understatement about mortality, estrangement, and the absurdity of life from the acclaimed author of Unformed Landscape and In Strange Gardens

On a day like any other, Andreas changes his life. When a routine doctor’s visit leads to an unexpected prognosis, a great yearning takes hold of him—but who can tell if it is homesickness or wanderlust? Andreas leaves everything behind, sells his Paris apartment; cuts off all social ties; quits his teaching job; and waves goodbye to his days spent idly sitting in cafes—to look for a woman he once loved, half a lifetime ago. The monotony of days has been keeping him in check; now he hopes for a miracle and for a new beginning.

Andreas’ travels lead him back to the province of his youth, back to his hometown in Switzerland where he returns to familiar streets, where his brother still lives in their childhood home, and where Fabienne, a woman he was obsessed with in his youth, visits the same lake they once swam in together. Andreas, still consumed with longing for his lost love and blinded by the uncertainty of his future, is tormented by the question of what might have been if things had happened differently.

Peter Stamm has been praised as a “stylistic ascetic” and his prose as “distinguished by lapidary expression, telegraphic terseness, and finely tuned sensitivity” (Bookforum). In On a Day Like This, Stamm’s unobtrusive observational style allows us to journey with our antihero through his crises of banality, of living in his empty world, and the realization that life is finite—that one must live it, as long as that is possible.

Praise for Unformed Landscape:

“Sensitive and unnerving. . . . An uncommonly intimate work, one that will remind the reader of his or her own lived experience with a greater intensity than many of the books that are published right here at home.” —The New Republic Online

“If Albert Camus had lived in an age when people in remote Norwegian fishing villages had e-mail, he might have written a novel like this.”—The New Yorker

“Unformed Landscape has a refreshing purity, a lack of delusion, a lack of hype.”—Los Angeles Times

About the Author

Michael Hoffman is a filmmaker known for creating complex and layered stories with great attention to detail and character. A skilled writer and director, he has worked on both feature films and documentaries, including A Midsummer Night's Dream, The Emperor's Club, Game of Six, and the ESPN documentary Out of the Blue. The Last Station is his most recent film.

Jay Parini is a professor of English & Creative Writing at Middlebury College in Vermont. A writer and academic, he is best known for his novels and poetry. He is the author of the novel The Last Station, which is now a major motion picture from Sony Classics.

Product Details
ISBN: 9781590514993
ISBN-10: 1590514998
Publisher: Other Press (NY)
Publication Date: April 12th, 2011
Pages: 238
Language: English