My Mother's Lover

Urs Widmer

Translated by Donald Nicholson-Smith


5 x 8 inches, 136 pages February 2018

ISBN : 9780857425263

Rs  499.00 (PB)
$19.00 (PB)
£12.99 (PB)

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It’s Switzerland in the 1920s when the two lovers first meet. She is young, beautiful and rich. In contrast, he can barely support himself and is interested only in music. By the end of their lives, he is a famous conductor and the richest man in the country, but she is penniless. And most important of all, no one knows of her love for him; it is a secret he took to his grave. Here begins Urs Widmer’s novel My Mother’s Lover.


Based on a real-life affair, My Mother’s Lover is the story of a lifelong and unspoken love for a man—recorded by the woman’s son, who begins this novel on the day his mother’s lover dies. Set against the backdrop of the Depression and World War II, it is a story of sacrifice and betrayal, passionate devotion and inevitable suffering. Yet in Widmer’s hands, it is always entertaining and surprisingly comic—a unique kind of fairy tale.

Urs Widmer (1938 – 2014) was a Swiss novelist, playwright, essayist and a short story writer. He was the co-founder of Verlag der Autoren, an author-owned publishing house focusing on texts related to the performing arts. His other works published by Seagull Books include My Mother’s Lover, In the Congo, The Blue Soda Siphon, My Father’s Book, On Life, Death and This and That and That of the Rest and Mr Adamson.


Donald Nicholson-Smith’s translations include works by Guy Debord, Jean Piaget, Jean Patrick Manchette, Paco Ignacio Taibo II, J.B. Pontalis and Jean Laplanche, Thierry Jonquet, Henri Lefebvre and Raoul Vaneigem. Born in Manchester, England, he is a long-time denizen of New York city.

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