- English sample translation by Jamie Bulloch available
Paris, the State of Emergency, and Love
In floating, gorgeous prose, Hilmar Klute writes about a man in his fourties who moves to Paris to live a free life as an artist: Having ended his most recent relationship and given up his job, Jonas Becker finally makes his dream of becoming a writer come true. The plan – to write a book about the reclusive writer Richard Stein while the publishing house pays the rent for his small apartment on Rue Oberkampf – seems to be working. Jonas spends his days in deep conversation with his idol Stein, a writer whose big breakthrough somehow continues to elude him. At night he meets up with his recent acquaintance Christine.
Yet the attack on Charlie Hebdo suddenly casts a shadow over everything and a letter from his ex-girlfriend opens up old wounds. And when Stein convinces him to take a trip to the US with him, in search of Stein’s estranged son, the picture of his idol takes a turn.
With a light touch, Hilmar Klute writes about the magic of literature and the fragility of our existence, trying to answer the question: How do you lead a self-determined life in a shaken world? The result is a book full of longing and melancholy, comedy and horror – with the flair of Paris, a city that, even in the face of terror, manages to maintain not just its attitude but its character as well.
"Klute has succeeded in creating an eloquent, witty novel that virtuously combines contemporary historical and personal turning points." – General-Anzeiger Bonn