The Interim (Hardcover)

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Staff Reviews

Our “hero” takes us on many liquor-fueled Mobius Teacup Rides between East and West Germany, keeping the limbo bench warm on the sidelines of love and lust, looking for someone, something, or some country to blame for his writer’s block, impotence, and irresponsibility.  Told in such a comedic, controlled scatter to keep the reader comfortably teetered on a seat’s edge, if sitting’s a thing said reader’s into.

— From Ian McCord

November 2021 Indie Next List

“A transcendent reading experience about a German culture cleaved in two, and a man trying to find his way through the middle. A masterpiece of one of European literature’s finest authors.”
— Matt Keliher, SubText Books, St. Paul, MN


"Bilious and bleakly funny...Hilbig is one of the essential voices of the Cold War, and deserves to be as well known in the Anglophone world as Thomas Bernhard or G nter Grass. In The Interim he captures the despair and disorientation of a generation of German intellectuals who found themselves without a side to join." --Hari Kunzru, author of Red Pill

C. is a wretched grump, an anguished patron of bars, brothels, and train stations. He is also an acclaimed East German writer. Dogged by writer's block, remorse, and national guilt in the years before the fall of the Berlin Wall, he leaves the monochromatic existence of the GDR for the neon excess of the West. There at least the novelty of his origins grant him easy money and minor celebrity, if also a deflating sense of complacency. With his visa expired and several relationships hanging in the balance, C. travels back and forth, mentally and physically, between two Germanys, contemplating diverging visions of the world and what they mean for people like him: alienated and aimless witnesses to history.

This monumental novel from one of the greatest chroniclers of postwar Germany, masterfully translated by Isabel Fargo Cole, interrogates with bitter wit and singular brilliance the detritus of twentieth-century life: addiction, consumerism, God, pay-per-view pornography, selfishness, statelessness, and above all else, the writer's place in a "century of lies."

Product Details
ISBN: 9781949641233
ISBN-10: 1949641236
Publisher: Two Lines Press
Publication Date: November 2nd, 2021
Pages: 256
Language: English