For me, Sven Regener is the ultimate rebuttal to that old ‘Germans have no sense of humour’ chestnut. His latest Wiener Strasse will make you laugh in a way that means you probably shouldn’t read it on public transport. A brilliant, chaotic caper through the artist and squatter sub-culture of 1980s West Berlin. At 160 pages you can read Samanta Schweblin’s Fever Dream in one sitting, but it will haunt you for weeks. Structured as a dialogue between a boy and a dying woman, this is a tense, menacing thriller with a supernatural side, quite unlike anything I’ve read before.
Sven Regener, Wiener Strasse (Galiani, 2017)
Samanta Schweblin, Fever Dream (Oneworld, 2017)
Ruth Martin’s most recent translations include Yiza by Michael Köhlmeier for Haus Publishing. Her co-translation of Nino Haratischwili’s masterpiece The Eighth Life is forthcoming from Scribe.