The German Room by Carla Maliandi (tr. Frances Riddle)

a nutshell: on stumbling into a personal crossroads, a woman impulsively leaves Buenos Aires for Heidelberg – the city in which she spent her first five years – where her world widens into an unscripted, impassioned realm

a line: “Something suddenly became clear to me: I don’t want to buy a set of coffee mugs ever again, or straighten pictures on the wall, or decide where to put the rug that looks rustic but isn’t … I’d rather be surprised when I open the window”

an image: the final scene (which of course will remain a mystery here) is misty, fragile, exquisite – it veers nebulously towards the magical realism melded into much of South America’s literature

a thought: this was the second book by an Argentinian author that I read this week (the other was Norah Lange’s People in the Room, tr. Charlotte Whittle, And Other Stories); I hadn’t decided in advance which I’d review but chose The German Room for several reasons incl. (i) it had me far more engaged (ii) though the action takes place in Germany, its characters have a deep, fascinating relationship with Argentina as a country, (iii) Maliandi’s beautiful writing deserves to be shared

a fact: the book’s narrator has parallels with the author’s own life – she too is the daughter of philosophers who escaped Argentina’s military regime (though Maliandi’s parents took refuge in Venezuela rather than Germany)

* a bonus fact: film rights have apparently been sold to award-winning filmmaker Diego Lerman *

 

want to read The German Room? visit here

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