cover image On a Day Like This

On a Day Like This

Peter Stamm, , trans. from the German by Michael Hofmann. . Other Press, $23.95 (229pp) ISBN 978-1-59051-279-1

In the quiet but evocative latest from Swiss writer Stamm (Unformed Landscape ), Andreas, a 40-something Swiss expatriate, teaches German in Paris and spends much of his time musing over Fabienne, the lost love of his youth, while sleeping with women he doesn’t much like. Andreas thinks of himself as quiet and passive, and is thus surprised by the intensity of his reaction when told he may have a serious lung disorder. He reacts by allowing a casual affair with 24-year-old Delphine (a teaching colleague who had briefly been involved with Andreas’s best friend, Jean-Marc), to intensify. He tells Delphine about his illness; she reciprocates by taking care of him as he recovers from surgery. The two seem poised to take a chance on one another, but Andreas’s fidelity to Fabienne is still to be reckoned with. Andreas’s sorrows and changing perspectives are surprisingly powerful in this muted, thoughtful novel of second chances. (July)