To the Back of Beyond (Paperback)
Other Press (NY), 9781590518281, 160pp.
Publication Date: October 3, 2017
Man Booker Prize nominee Peter Stamm explores in his sixth novel what it means to be in the middle of nowhere, in mind and in body. Happily married with two children and a comfortable home in a Swiss town, Thomas and Astrid enjoy a glass of wine in their garden on a night like any other. Called back to the house by their son's cries, Astrid goes inside, expecting her husband to join her in a bit. But Thomas gets up and, after a brief moment of hesitation, opens the gate and walks out. No longer bound by the ties of his everyday life--family, friends, work--Thomas begins a winding trek across the countryside, exposed as never before to the Alpine winter. At home, Astrid wonders where he's gone, when he'll come back, whether he's still alive. Following Thomas and Astrid on their separate paths, To the Back of Beyond becomes ultimately a meditation on the limits of freedom and on the craving to be wanted.
About the Author
Peter Stamm is the author of the novels All Days Are Night, Seven Years, On a Day Like This, Unformed Landscape, and Agnes and the short-story collections We're Flying and In Strange Gardens and Other Stories. His prize-winning books have been translated into more than thirty languages. For his entire body of work and his accomplishments in fiction, he was short-listed for the Man Booker International Prize in 2013, and in 2014 he won the prestigious Friedrich Hölderlin Prize. He lives in Switzerland. Michael Hofmann has translated the work of Gottfried Benn, Hans Fallada, Franz Kafka, Joseph Roth, and many others. In 2012 he was awarded the Thornton Wilder Prize for Translation by the American Academy of Arts and Letters. His Selected Poems was published in 2009, and Where Have You Been? Selected Essays in 2014. He lives in Florida and London.