Summer Lies: Stories (Hardcover)
Pantheon, 9780307907264, 240pp.
Publication Date: August 14, 2012
From Bernhard Schlink, the internationally best-selling author of The Reader, come seven provocative and masterfully calibrated stories. A keen dissection of the ways in which we play with truth and less-than-truth in our lives. Summer Lies brims with the delusions, the passions, the outbursts, and the sometimes irrational justifications people make within a mélange of beautifully rendered relationships. In ”After the Season,” a man falls quickly in love with a woman he meets on the beach but wrestles with his incongruous feelings of betrayal after he learns she’s rich. In “Johann Sebastian Bach on Ruegen,” a son tries to put his resentment toward his emotionally distant father behind him by proposing a trip to a Back festival but soon realizes, during his efforts to reconnect, that it wasn’t his father who was the distant one. A philandering playwright is accused to infidelity by his wife in “The Night in Baden-Baden,” but he sees her accusations as nothing more than a means to exculpate himself of his guilt as he carries on with his ways. And in “Stranger in the Night,” an obliging professor becomes an accomplice—not entirely unwittingly—to the temporary escape of a charismatic fugitive on a delayed flight from New York to Frankfurt.
The truth, as once character puts it, is “passionate, beautiful sometimes, and sometimes hideous, it can make you happy and it can torture you, and it always sets you free.” Tantalizingly, so is the act of telling a lie—to others and to ourselves.
About the Author
Praise For Summer Lies: Stories…
“A thoughtful, stimulating collection.”
“Eloquent and profound . . . a generally top-notch collection from Schlink.”
“In each affecting story in this hot, blurry haze of summer, the valley between truth and deception is neither straight nor wide.”
Praise for The Weekend
“Schlink deftly manages his characters’ interlocking stories yet refuses to give readers an easy answer to the central dilemma . . . [A] beautifully crafted and stimulating read.”
“Schlink avoids the easy route of condemnation and salvation . . . The book’s real strength is the finely wrought dynamic among the characters, whose relationships and histories are fraught with a powerful sense of tension and possibly untoward potential.”
Praise for The Reader
“Arresting, philosophically elegant, morally complex . . . Schlink tells this story with marvelous directness and simplicity, his writing stripped bare of any of the standard gimmicks of dramatization.”
—The New York Times
“[A] beautiful, disturbing, and finally morally devastating novel. From the first page, The Reader ensnares both heart and mind.”
—Los Angeles Times
Praise for Homecoming
“Sensitive and disturbing . . . The reader’s mind opens to the story like a plant unfurling its leaves to the sun.”
—The New York Times Book Review