Published in August 2012 issue of Prospect Magazine
Peter Stamm’s prize-winning books have been translated into 20 languages. A Swiss-German writer born in 1963 and living in Winterthur, Switzerland, he has also written plays, both for the stage and radio. His writing is restrained, but populated with strong characters; a recent Guardian review of his latest novel, Seven Years, credited him with having created “one of the great characters of contemporary fiction.” The writer Zadie Smith said it was “a novel to make you doubt your own dogma. What more can a novel do than that?”
“We’re flying” is the title story from collection of short fiction to be published by Portobello books in 2013.
Six o’clock came and went, but Angelika wasn’t really worried. She brought out the garage, but Dominic didn’t want to play anymore. He sat quietly on her lap and leaned his head against her breast. The last couple of times the bell rang, he had gone running to the door, only to come back with shoulders drooping, because it was some other child’s mother or father. All the parents knew Dominic, because he was usually already there in the morning when they dropped off their own children and still there when they picked them up at night. They said hello to him, and thanked him for opening the door. They asked him vaguely if he’d played nicely that day. Then as soon as they saw their own children, they beamed and forgot all about Dominic.
Shall we look at a picture book together? Dominic merely shook his head. When Angelika stood up and set him down on the ground, he held on to her leg. She said she was going to call his home. Let me go, she said. He wouldn’t let go. She was annoyed, not with him, but with his parents, and she felt bad about taking out her irritation on him. She was tired and wanted to go home. Benno was coming at half past seven, and she wanted to shower first and relax a bit. She looked at the clock. It was twenty past six.