March 11, 2025
stories | pb | 120 pgs.
5.5" x 8.5"
“Berlin is a sad city, but it’s a sadness you don’t see. It’s like having heavy metals slowly build up in your body. You can spend a few days, weeks, months, or even years here and never notice how heavy your heart has become.”
A little boy who is afraid of telephones; a woman recounting to her lover her recent sexual assault; a man wondering what would happen if he woke up each morning nine minutes earlier than he had the morning before; a student who is plied by his German teacher with glass after glass of cheap wine . . .
The protagonists of Andris Kurprišs’s debut collection are at times melancholy and worrisome, and world-angry or absurdist at others. Kuprišs plays with tension, a building up to climaxes reminiscent of Henry James—but with endings that leave a lingering sense of having missed some important detail, some sinister clue that will reveal all meaning. Deceptively simple, nostalgic, and resigned, Kurprišs’s characters show how it can be just as hard to arrive somewhere (physical or intangible) as it can be to leave.
Translated from the Latvian by Ian Gwin
About the Author:
Andris Kuprišs (1982) is a writer and translator. He studied journalism at the University of Latvia and holds an MA in Photography from Goldsmiths University of London. Berlin is his debut work.
About the Translator:
Ian Gwin is a writer and translator from Seattle, Washington. He holds an MA in Scandinavian Languages and Literatures at the University of Washington. His writing has been published in Drifting Sands, Kingfisher, and Mayfly Haiku. Andris Kuprišs’s Berlin is his first full-length translation.
Praise for Andris Kuprišs:
". . . Berlin uses laconic simplicity to mask that which is painful—and uses the ironic awareness of that pain to mask that which is even more painful."—Newspaper Diena