An intriguing, fabulously bizarre debut collection of short stories by prize-winning German writer Ingo Schulze, author of Simple Stories.
These thirty-three macabre, often comical short pieces revolve around moments of odd bliss–moments seized by characters who have found ways to conquer the bleakness of everyday life in the chaotic world of post-communist Russia.
Peopled by Mafia gunmen, desperate young prostitutes, bewildered foreign businessmen, and even a trio of hungry devils, the stories are by turns tragic and bleakly funny. From a sly retelling of the legend of St. Nicholas featuring a rich American named Nick, to a lavish gourmet feast in which the young female cook ends up as the main dish, these stories are above all playful and even surreal–and many of them are masterful tributes to Russian writers from Gogol to Nabokov.
Ingo Schulze was born in Dresden in 1962 and studied classical philology at the University of Jena. His first book, 33 Moments of Happiness, won two prestigious German literary awards, the Alfred Döblin Prize and the Ernst Willner Prize for Literature. In 2007 he was awarded both the Leipzig Book Fair Prize and the Thuringia Literature Prize. He is a member of the German Academy for Language and Literature and lives in Berlin.