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Born in Munich in 1975, Daniel Kehlmann completed his first novel, Beerholms Vorstellung, in 1997 while studying for a doctorate in philosophy. His fifth novel, 2006’s Die Vermessung der Welt—translated into English by Carol Brown Janeway as Measuring the World—was an international bestseller. “Voices” is taken from Fame, a “novel in nine stories” in which, Kehlmann told Prospect, “all the chapters are short stories, complete in themselves, but together form a novel. This chapter is the story of a man deeply bored by his life who starts to influence, and to partly take over, a life much more exciting than…

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