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All the Lights

by Clemens Meyer

In this collection of fifteen short stories you will encounter men who are struggling to cope with what life throws at them in the streets of Germany. Meet boxers, fork lift truck drivers, widowers, the unemployed, petty criminals and drug addicts, who have all lost out on the better things in life and are coping with situations in their own ways. Yes, it is bleak, but there are some moments where light shines in the dark.

Extract

We put our glasses down almost simultaneously. She's drinking a dark red cocktail, blood orange or something like that, and there's a stripe of the stuff above her top lip. I try not to look her in the eye for too long, running my finger across my mouth a couple of times. She smiles, takes a serviette and wipes the red stripe away. I take a sip of beer and look into my glass. I hear her drinking too, I hear her coughing, then only the music and the quiet buzz of conversation from the other tables.
Translated by Katy Derbyshire

Parallels

Short tories by Ernest Hemingway
Lyrics by Leonard Cohen
Short stories by Raymond Carver
 

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