The Sweet Indifference of the World
Winner of the Swiss Book Prize 2018
Christoph, an older man who is a writer, has a story to share with Lena, a younger woman who is an actress. A long time ago, he was in a relationship with a woman called Magdalena, who was also an actress. Lena is currently in a relationship with a man called Chris, who is also a writer. As the two talk, it becomes clear that the two relationships contain echoes, similarities, and coincidences too remarkable to be called coincidences. Are Chris and Lena doomed to repeat Christoph and Magdalena’s broken relationship, or are Christoph and Magdalena a warning from the future? Who really exists? Is there such a thing as fate?
And so begins a uniquely existential game of past and present that will leave no one unharmed.
Praise for The Sweet Indifference of the World
“An elegant dart of a novel as clear and mesmerizing as an MC Escher drawing. I felt both lost and found at once. Peter Stamm is a truly wonderful writer.” – Catherine Lacey
“Excellent…this amorphous tale folds in on itself, becoming a meditation on how memory can distort reality…Fans of Julian Barnes will love this.” – Publishers Weekly
“Haunting…The fascinating overall effect of Indifference makes it a worthy inclusion among Stamm’s other compelling novels.” – Literary Review
“There’s a satisfying tension between the complexity of the novel’s conceit and the simplicity of the writing…lively and well paced, fully capturing the rhythm of two people walking and speaking…it’s a novel about a writer and about people talking, which, in its distortions, takes on larger questions of storytelling and memory.” – Los Angeles Review of Books