Seven Years, By Peter Stamm


Emma Hagestadt
Thursday 04 April 2013 14:10 BST

Swiss accountant turned novelist, Stamm is precise when it comes to quantifying his characters' emotional and psychological flaws.

When trainee architect Alex marries Sonia, a woman as attractive and ambitious as himself, he sets himself up for a long-term problem. Not long into the marriage, he becomes obsessed with a plain Polish girl with whom he once had an affair.

In hypnotically cool prose, deftly translated by Michael Hofmann, Stamm explores the implications of Alex's love triangle over the course of 20 years. This disturbing novel houses some brutal truths.

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