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Alice

by Judith Hermann

Nothing happens, it has already happened, and in the most final sense: these deaths, by their consequent emotions of loss and questioning, define Alice in the way that you and I never know ourselves but for that most public-private role: the next of kin, the mourner, the niece he never knew. Yes, it is deeply contrived, but this framework enables meditation on the evolution and disintegration of our personalities.

Extract

Maja did look beautiful. With those distinct dark rings under the eyes, slender, pale, and tired; her hair firmly combed back off her face and pinned up. A pulsating, dark glow all around her. They went back into the bedroom and together looked at the child. She was sleeping soundly in a sleeping bag patterned with baby lambs. Lying on her back, her little arms extended in complete surrender, clutching the ear of a soft-toy rabbit in her left fist.
Translated by Margot Bettauer Dembo

Parallels

Milwaukee by Bernice Rubens
The Forgotten Waltz by Anne Enright
The Blue by Maggie Gee
 

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