As a Guest
432pp (135,000 words)
Frankfurt am Main in March 1984. Not quite spring. The homeless narrator goes to stay temporarily in a small rooftop apartment in Eppsteiner Straße, which belongs to some friendly parents he met at his daughter’s kindergarten. Tell me a story! insists his four-and-a-half-year-old daughter. And Kurzeck begins. More and more new stories from the post-war period crowd into the present day. In the mind of the narrator, the war never came to an end. He depicts his experiences during this Frankfurt March as probingly and precisely as his memories of the past.
AS A GUEST is part of Peter Kurzeck’s autobiographical project The Old Century. His meticulous descriptions of reality liberate an artistic stream of memories, impressions and associations. Moving beyond simple autobiography, the project is a poetic chronicle, the history of a city and an era: a book about Germany.
»[Kurzeck] writes as though every day were the last, as though he must – and can! – redeem the world through storytelling.«
Holger Schneider, Norddeutscher Rundfunk (NDR)
»This is no novel: this is a bewitching song.«
Thomas Fitzel, Frankfurter Rundschau
»Like Marcel Proust, Kurzeck was in search of lost time, but less analytically, applying his very own technique. (…) A pleasure to read.«
Nico Bleutge, Deutschlandfunk Kultur