The Diver

Alfred Neven DuMont, trans. from the German by David Dollenmayer, St. Martin's, $24.99 (224p) ISBN 978-0-312-64798-8
DuMont, an icon in Germany, receives his first English translation with a novel laden with philosophy and despair. Albert suffers from Parkinson's, but that's the least of his worries. Two years ago, his clinically depressed daughter, Gloria, disappeared while scuba diving off the Cayman Islands, and he continues to grieve and suffer the ministration of his martyred wife, Ann. When Ann is called away on another family matter, Gloria's beloved friend Christie re-enters Albert's life, whisking him away to her mother's in the country. In an effort to heal her own grief over the loss of her friend, she reads to Albert from her diary; there's much talk of God, but little true belief, and the passages, intended to deepen our understanding and attachment, often ring false. Other sections reflect DuMont's theatrical background and would make powerful monologues, and the author elegantly captures the daily struggle against one's own aging body without sentiment or melodrama. Readers who enjoy literature influenced by European culture and thought will respond to the depth of both here, and to the alternate sensibility DuMont sheds on depression. (Dec.)
Reviewed on: 10/18/2010
Release date: 12/01/2010
Genre: Fiction
Open Ebook - 224 pages - 978-1-4299-2785-7
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