Translated by Krishna Winston
5 x 8 inches, 196pp. May 2013
ISBN : 9780857420824
Rs 395.00 (HB)
In a rundown Los Angeles apartment building—the titular Starlite Terrace—Patrick Roth unfurls the tragic linked stories of Rex, Moss, Gary and June, four neighbors, in a sort of burlesque of the Hollywood modern. In each of their singular collisions with fame, Roth’s dark prose presages a universal and mythical fate of desperation.
In “The Man at Noah’s Window,” Rex shares the story of his father, a supposed hand double for Gary Cooper in High Noon. In “Eclipse of the Sun,” Moss, who lives in fear of the next holocaust, awaits a visit from the long-lost daughter he has tracked down. In “Rider on the Storm,” Gary, a rock drummer and born-again Christian, who “almost played” on the Turtles’ 60s-hit “Happy Together,” strives to find escape from his personal guilt. And in “The Woman in the Sea of Stars,” June, a former Hollywood studio secretary whose husband once cheated on her with Marilyn Monroe, makes the best of a disconnected life until she emerges reborn through ashes strewn in the illuminated swimming pool of the Starlite Terrace.
In each of these four tales of wanna-bes and almost-weres, Roth's L.A. portraits unfold in rare style, and, in Krishna Winston’s masterful translation, the hopeless, loveless perversion of an Ed Ruscha-inspired California becomes a compelling pageant of all-American grotesques that is not to be missed.
Patrick Roth has spent many years as a Los Angeles-based film journalist. Author of numerous German novels and plays, his most recent work is Sunrise:Das Buch Joseph (2012). He is currently lecturing on poetry at Heidelberg University.
Krishna Winston, professor and chair of the German Studies Department in the Wesleyan University, is the principal English-language translator for the works of the Nobel Prize-winning German author Günter Grass. She also translated Peter Handke’s Don Juan.