Peter Wortsman, best known for his prose fiction and plays, takes stock of life in late middle age.
In the short personal essays that comprise Epiphany of a Middle-Aged Pilgrim, Essays in lieu of a Memoir, author Peter Wortsman, best known for his original prose fiction and stage plays, and his translations from the German, follows in the footsteps of French essayist Michel de Montaigne, taking stock of life in middle age. His perspectives, including childhood fear, chronic insomnia, ironing a shirt, getting a haircut, having a skin cancer removed, travel at home and abroad, a consciousness of getting older, et al, and concluding with a reflection of life in lockdown during the Covid-19 pandemic, make for a rich mosaic of memories meant to spur readers to seek out their own epiphanies.
Literary Nonfiction. Memoir.
The son of Austrian-Jewish emigrés, born in New York in 1952, Peter Wortsman was raised bilingually in German and English, i.e. linguistically confused. He is the author of a novel Cold Earth Wanderers (2014), two volumes of short fiction A Modern Way to Die (1991, second edition, 2019) and Footprints in Wet Cement (2017), plays Burning Words (premiered in 2006, in German translation, 2014), and The Tattooed Man Tells All (2018), a travel memoir Ghost Dance in Berlin (2013), and of a book of nonfiction The Caring Heirs of Doctor Samuel Bard (2019). Wortsman is also a literary translator from German into English, of works by Chamisso, the Grimms, Heine, E.T.A. Hoffmann, Kafka, Kleist, Musil, and Mynona, among others.