Wednesday, 9 January 2008

Solche Geschenke

after a long day of studying and searching for a new room, i usually read a little bit in some book or novel, to relax before sleeping. in december, i met this nice young german writer, franziska gerstenberg, at a reading. she was then just about to end a scholarship she had in lüneburg. we had a really interesting conversation and even went to the cinema together, with the result that i bought her first book, "Wie viel Vögel", and read it within a week or two. for christmas, i got her other book "Solche Geschenke", out of which i am reading some pages every evening now.

those books are short stories, erzählungen (in german). franziska writes about normal people and their lives. sometimes we follow them for a few hours through their lives, sometimes a few days or months, never more. it's never dramatic in a sense of big things happening, but the small things that happen sometimes have a huge impact. for example, there is this girl who doesn't really have anything to do, she just wants to get out of her apartment, take the tram to the station, buy a magazine and maybe a t-shirt and get back home. instead, she finds herself helping an elderly and confused lady with her hamsters that went lose in the tram. or there is this middle-aged man who has been travelling around for two years in his camping bus, all on his own. just one day, he has a teenage girl next to him, asking "we are going to spain, aren't we?", and so they go, even though he never really wanted to take her along, as she obviously is running away from home. and suddenly, there is something like friendship.

i like those stories. they are warm and sometimes a bit funny, but never ever is anyone made ridiculous. never. which is what i like even more. and they are easy to read. calming, in a sense.
and they make me want to translate them to swedish. i really want to try.

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