What Was Before

Martin Mosebach

Martin Mosebach

Distributed for Seagull Books

Translated by Kári Driscoll
248 pages | 6 x 9 | © 2014
Cloth $27.50 ISBN: 9780857422149 Will Publish October 2014 World sales rights except India
Martin Mosebach’s novel What Was Before opens with a young couple enjoying a moment of carefree intimacy. Then the young woman, turning slightly more serious, asks her lover that fateful question, one that sounds so innocent but carries toxic seeds of jealousy: What was your life like before you met me? The answer grows into an entire book, an elaborate house of cards, filled with intrigue, sex, betrayal, exotic birds, and far-flung locations.

Set against the backdrop of Frankfurt’s affluent suburbs, this elliptical tale of coincidence and necessity unfolds through a series of masterly constructed vignettes, which gradually come together to form a scintillating portrait of the funny, tender, and destructive guises that love between two people can assume and the effect it has on everyone around them. Hailed in Germany as the first great social novel of the twenty-first century, What Was Before is an Elective Affinities for our time.
Contents

Musical Introduction

The Mysterious Tenant

The Girl on the Train

Poolside Objets d’Art

A Single White Feather

Bernward and Rosemarie

Brrrazil

The Secret of the Forest Quarter

Branding

Involuntary Excursions into Other Worlds

On the Eve of Great Things

Into the Unknown

The Power of Make-Up

The Eye of the Cockatoo

Struggle, Victory and Resolution

Little Causes—And Effects

A Wasp, a Dress

With Another’s Hands

Business Advice

Time Holds Its Breath

Mayonnaise, There’s Nothing to It

The Keys to Another World

The Services of an Old Typewriter

Two Letter and a Trip to the Cinema

The Old Goddesses

Dining Room Still Life

That’s How It’s Done

A Love Nest

xxx

Solitudes

A Harbinger of the Future

A Separation

Will the Patience Come Out?

Hopeful Outlook

For more information, or to order this book, please visit http://www.press.uchicago.edu
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