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Fiction. Jewish Studies. Short Stories. Bilingual Edition. "To have reached at age 66, after years of considerable creative effort in English, the beginner's level in another language is in my view no small feat, something on the order of digging a hole so deep into New York granite that you come crawling back up in China, filthy but still breathing. If as an adult I stutter and stumble with the shaky spoon of my tongue back into the still fluid forecourt of consciousness that German constitutes for me, I do so in full consciousness as an English speaker reminded of other syllables that say more to me about the unspeakable than yes and no." So writes the New York-born author, son of Austrian-Jewish émigrés, in the foreword. "I harbor a stillborn scribe of the German tongue in me," he maintains. In this collection of stories, some quasi-autobiographical, some nightmarish, most of them originally written in German and thereafter translated, or rather, adapted by the author himself into English, Wortsman creates a compelling, albeit disturbing, portrait, not only of himself, but also of our shattered age. Despite all, with his writing, Wortsman harbors a hope: "Perhaps we Germans and Jews of the Post-War generation, as children of a shattered cultural union, can still achieve something productive together, perhaps we can pick a few rags of reason from the ruins of the past and therewith pitch a tent big enough to hold all our dreams."
Feature @ The Yale ReviewPublishers Weekly
Peter Wortsman is the author of A MODERN WAY TO DIE (Pelekinesis, 2019), STIMME UND ATEM/OUT OF BREATH, OUT OF MIND (PalmArtPress, 2019), FOOTPRINTS IN WET CEMENT (Pelekinesis, 2017), COLD EARTH WANDERDERS (Pelekinesis, 2014), Ghost Dance in Berlin, A Rhapsody in Gray (2013), and a 1991 edition of A MODERN WAY TO DIE. His travel writing has run in such major newspapers as The New York Times and The Los Angeles Times, and was included annually in The Best Travel Writing from 2008 to 2012 and again in 2016. Recipient of the 1985 Beard's Fund Short Story Award, the 2008 Geertje Potash-Suhr SCALG- Prosapreis, awarded by the Society for Contemporary American Literature in German, the 2012 Gold Grand Prize for Best Travel Story of the Year in the Solas Awards Competition, and a 2014 Independent Publishers Book Award. He was a fellow of the Fulbright Foundation (1973), the Thomas J. Watson Foundation (1974), and a Holtzbrinck Fellow at the American Academy in Berlin (2010).Author City: NEW YORK, NY USA