Fire Doesn’t Burn
Author: Ralf Rothmann
Translated by Mike Mitchell
9780857427229 | PB | pp. 314 | 2019 | Seagull Books
Fire Doesn’t Burn is a dark recasting of the delicate reunification of East and West as a chronicle of erotic desire and an extraordinary rediscovery of emotion and place.
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Almost 20 years after the fall of the Berlin Wall, the Kreuzberg district of Berlin has become unbearably trendy and deeply unappealing to Alina and Wolf. They move to Müggelsee, at the city’s bucolic border, where the differences between East and West have not yet faded and strange encounters with men from the vanished republic are still a part of daily life. But there, Wolf finds himself increasingly strained by the triviality of his daily routine with Alina. The monotony of life in their comfortable flat gives way when an old girlfriend surfaces and Wolf escapes into a torrid affair. As Wolf’s struggle with his infidelity grows, so grows the hell of his concealment.
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About the Contributors
The author was born in Schleswig, grew up in the Ruhrgebiet, and now lives in Berlin. He is the author of several novels, including Young Light and Fire Doesn’t Burn.
The translator was for many years a lecturer in German with a special interest in Austrian literature. He has worked as a literary translator since 1995. He was awarded the 1998 Schlegel-Tieck Prize for his translation of Herbert Rosendorfer’s Letters Back to Ancient China.
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