A Tiler’s Afternoon
Lars Gustafsson, Tom Geddes
One grey November morning a friend rang Torsten Bergman and told him of a job on a house-conversion. Torsten arrived at the empty house in his decrepit car and got to work retiling the bathroom – the tiles were there already – while he waited for someone to turn up and make it all official.
So begins this story of one day in an old man’s life: a day of work, of day-dreaming, of memories, of chance encounters (for men and women, not to mention children, burst in on his solitary tiling). And as he put away his tools that evening, there came also a discovery that might, after all, hold a clue to the elusive Meaning of Life.
In A Tiler’s Afternoon, Lars Gustafsson has written an enchanting tale, full of insight, wisdom and gentle irony, sensitively conveyed in the childlike simplicity of its telling, as the tiler’s life-story is gradually filled in from his memories. Here is a book that in short compass embraces a whole rich microcosm.
a beautifully conceived poetic allegory about an artist's life * Independent * These few dozen pages pack a remarkable punch -- Reinhard Baumgart * Die Zeit * With this masterly and probing tale Gustafsson the moralist draws up the balance sheet of his own work as a writer... It is the self-portrait of the artist as an old man, and it reflects both his passion and his serenity * Der Spiegel * A most beautiful book - its theme, fantasy as a form of escape -- Gerhard Mack * Die Welt *
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