A young woman who has been living abroad returns to her hometown of Frankfurt am Main in Germany. Her sister Ines—a beautiful, impetuous painter—who still lives there, soon appears and promptly asks for financial help. But the returning sister knew this was coming—it is how their relationship has always worked. And this time, she’s determined that that will change.
But our plans don’t always hold up to the surprises presented by life—and when the sister finds herself about to drift into an affair with Ines’s lover, the two women grow unexpectedly closer. The Hour Between Dog and Wolf is a tale of disorientation in a modern, fundamentally rootless society that has become increasingly erratic and self-absorbed—it is a powerful exploration of the difficulties of intimacy and addiction.
Annemarie Schwarzenbach Seagull Books, 2011 Library of Congress PT2605.L25L9713 2011
Annemarie Schwarzenbach—journalist, novelist, antifascist, archaeologist, and traveler—has become a European cult figure for bohemian free spirits since the rediscovery of her works in the late 1980s. Lyric Novella is her story of a young man’s obsession with a Berlin variété actress. Despite having his future career mapped out for him in the diplomatic service, the young man begins to question all his family values under Sibylle’s spell. His family, future, and social standing become irrelevant when set against his overriding compulsion to pick her up every night from the theater so they can go for a drive.
Schwarzenbach’s clear, psychologically acute prose makes this novella an evocative narrative, with many intriguing parallels to her own life. In fact, she admitted after publication that her hero was in fact a young woman, not a man, leaving little doubt that Lyric Novella is a literary tale of lesbian love during socially and politically turbulent times.
Praise for the German Edition
“The subject of Annemarie Schwarzenbach’s story is not failed love— Sibylle’s apparent emotional coldness—but the failure of love—the protagonist’s helpless inability, in the crucial moment, to accept his human responsibility toward the beloved.”— Neue Zürcher Zeitung
“The work bears the face of its time, but it is so gentle, silent and veiled that one can barely exclude the person behind the mask. A mask is in fact this face, because the hero is a heroine who does not want to be seen.”—Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung