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The appearance of freedom

The writer Peter Stamm transforms the mundane into profound and gripping fiction

By Matt Lewis  

© Gaby Gerster

There is something chilling about the prose of Swiss-German author Peter Stamm. It is so stripped-down and restrained that the reader is forever expecting an explosion of imagery, or at least a faint puff of poetry—but it never arrives. His interest lies in people, their desires and motivations. The mundane is his milieu.

Where modernists like James Joyce and Katherine Mansfield sought to defamiliarise the everyday world, Stamm…

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