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AFTERTIME by Olaf G. Klein


by Olaf G. Klein & translated by Margot Bettauer Dembo

Pub Date: May 1st, 1999
ISBN: 0-8101-1504-2
Publisher: Northwestern Univ.

Aftertime ($24.95; May; 116 pp.; 0-8101-1504-2): This relentlessly depressing novel records the psychic disintegration of a young German woman who had been a student in Kiev at the time of a nearby nuclear reactor accident. Her fear that the earth has been poisoned triggers (failed) efforts to conceive and bear a healthy child, emotionless affairs with “forgettable men,” and fantasies of monstrous mutations and disfigurements that comprise the most vivid moments in a story whose innate power is unfortunately vitiated by its thematic and rhetorical overfamiliarity.