Paper Chase Berlin-New York
Publication date: 16.02.1998
Hardback, 104 pages
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"Berlin is a cursed and enchanted place. When, as an old Berliner, you come back to it after many years, you are both a native and a stranger, a friend and an enemy, a seeker and finder, alert and hard of hearing..."
Peter Fürst has always remained a Berliner, regardless of the places he was driven to by world history. In 1934 he escaped via Prague and Paris to the Dominican Republic. In 1946 he emigrated to the United States where he still lives.
Now, four years after his critically-acclaimed first novel, Der Zigarrentöter, Peter Fürst embarks on another quest for history and the stories of his life. The result is a paper chase between his two cities: New York and Berlin. And what a chase it is – the fascinated reader is informed how "I once thrashed Max Schmeling", and on the other side of the ocean he accompanies the narrator to the barbershop "where Capone and Einstein were lathered". He witnesses a brawl in a New York bus and scans the notorious "bullshit board" of the Berliner Tageblatt where the biggest blunders and blatant howlers are exposed to the ridicule of colleagues.
The numerous scraps of Peter Fürst's paper chase, the many anecdotes and punch lines, add up to much, much more: the vivid, highly amusing portrait of a man and his times.
"Many refugees of the Second World War have had their stories to tell of luck and tragedy but not many possess Peter Fürst's sense of style and irony. He turns the chaos and confusion of war into picaresque entertainment of the first order." – Norman Mailer