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Life Alongside an Animal

Literary Fiction, Fiction

Intimate, subtle, and hauntingly beautiful... An ageing actor being forced to his life anew

It’s four days before midsummer in Northern Italy, where Louis Arthur Schongauer, who once played the sombre German in Hollywood films, has retired after the death of his wife. Now he just wants to live a quiet life with his dog amidst the olive groves of Lake Garda. But his peace is soon shattered when two women barge into his life. A travel blogger gets stuck in his driveway as she tries to turn around, and a journalist wants to bring Louis out of his shell with a portrait: two women with an instinct for the trauma in his life. His dog, living only in the here and now, is the only being that has touched his heart after the death of his wife and now becomes all the more important to him on his way back to life.
Bodo Kirchhoff ’s new novel is about that human longing for a person who recognises us – and the pain of opening up.

• Previous titles have been translated into Dutch, Greek, Italian, Czech, Danish, French, Polish, and Spanish, among other languages

Bodo Kirchhoff

Bodo Kirchhoff, born, in Hamburg in 1948, divides his time between Frankfurt am Main and Lake Garda. After writing a string of widely acclaimed novels, including 'Love Broadly' ('Die Liebe in groben Zügen'), and 'Desire and Melancholy' ('Verlangen und Melancholie'), he was awarded the German Book Prize in 2016 for his novella 'Experience' ('Widerfahrnis'). Most recently, he published 'Twilight and Turmoil' ('Dämmer und Aufruhr') in 2018 and 'Report on the State of the Happiness' ('Bericht zur Lage des Glücks') in 2021.

Life Alongside an Animal

Intimate, subtle, and hauntingly beautiful... An ageing actor being forced to his life anew

It’s four days before midsummer in Northern Italy, where Louis Arthur Schongauer, who once played the sombre German in Hollywood films, has retired after the death of his wife. Now he just wants to live a quiet life with his dog amidst the olive groves of Lake Garda. But his peace is soon shattered when two women barge into his life. A travel blogger gets stuck in his driveway as she tries to turn around, and a journalist wants to bring Louis out of his shell with a portrait: two women with an instinct for the trauma in his life. His dog, living only in the here and now, is the only being that has touched his heart after the death of his wife and now becomes all the more important to him on his way back to life.
Bodo Kirchhoff ’s new novel is about that human longing for a person who recognises us – and the pain of opening up.

• Previous titles have been translated into Dutch, Greek, Italian, Czech, Danish, French, Polish, and Spanish, among other languages

Bibliographic Data
384 pages, ISBN: 978-3-423-28357-1
First published 2024