From the Umberplatzen - A Love Story
Cover image: Al McDermid
ISBN 978 0 9827115 4 5
Wilderness House Press
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About the Novella
Kitty is in her late thirties when she leaves her unhappy marriage and American homeland behind to settle abroad in Germany where she stays for a period of two years. Here she meets the brilliantly eccentric German physicist she refers to as M. He is passionate about many things, including the making and flying of beautiful silk kites. The two begin a love affair. Told in flashback, after Kitty's return to the states, each of these interlocking flash-fiction stories weaves an element of their love relationship into a gift or item he sends her almost daily through the mail. Pulitzer Prize-winning author Robert Olen Butler has called From the Umberplatzen "a brilliant mosaic of a novel."
The stories in Susan Tepper's From the Umberplatzen will haunt you. They are short, sharp, and ruthless in their tender investigations of memory and loss. —
Steve Almond, author of God Bless America
Susan Tepper knows extraordinary things about love, about its delicate negotiations and its quiet ravishments. She also is a master of the short short story form who has assembled forty eight stunning, small-scale stories into a brilliant mosaic of a novel. From the Umberplatzen is a dazzling artistic accomplishment. —
Robert Olen Butler, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of A Good Scent from a Strange Mountain
In these quasi-diary entries, Tepper allows the reader to thumb through an imagined ship's log to find that eternal sea in which Freud was most at home. This is a perceptive love story. — Simon Perchik, author of Hands Collected
Like a shattered glass (or the leaves of a tree), Susan Tepper's From the Umberplatzen reflects the many faces of love. At first it appears to be a diary, of a woman known only by the pet name "Kitty Kat," about her evolving relationship with the mysterious "M." But soon, in scene after scene, one is swept up in the small moments that form relationships. Reading "From the Umberplatzen" is like a relationship, with its endless idiosyncrasies, equal parts sweet and nutty.— Martin Golan, Reuters
Susan Tepper writes sparingly and makes every word count. Her vignettes in From the Umberplatzen add up to an insightful portrait of two lovers in a made-up place that comes off as strikingly real.
— Jeffrey Tannenbaum, Bloomberg News
From the Umberplatzen is so beautifully written, I should be watching it on the big screen as a foreign film. Bravo Susan Tepper. This book is a gem! A book I will read over and over!
— Gloria Mindock, Cervena Barva Press
It´s a love story, one that reinforces my love for the "lies" of fiction, for they are more truthful than a "true" story can ever be. In one-page flashes that linger, Tepper tells her story. The simple typewriter typeface adds to the charm of this delicate yet strong little book. I note Robert Olen Butler´s words on the back cover and now understand what he meant when he said a story needed to have yearning. Thank you, Susan, for the story and the lesson.
— Sylvia Petter, author of Back Burning
What Readers Are Saying About From the Umberplatzen
From the Umberplatzen is a long hot summer, a lovemaking of coffee and croissant, it is the profane and sacred, it is Kitty Kat and the mysterious M. In Susan Tepper's work I find the radiant poetic decadence of Djuna Barnes, the undertow of light and dark in equal measure, and an added spice of quirky humor. Not only a chiseled, lyrical work, it is pleasurable to read.
— Stephanie Dickinson, Skidrow Penthouse
This book is exceptional! Could not put it down! The stories are brilliant and the love between these two characters is palpable! Another Susan Tepper masterpiece.
— Meg Tuite, Santa Fe Literary Review and Connotation Press
God this stuff is GREAT, a real hit if you ask me. Wonderful stories. It all adds up...to love, too!
— Marcus Speh, kaffe at katmandu
It's a success in every way.
— Christopher Allen, Metazen
Interesting that 'hope' is what floated out from your writing. I mean, the story is about the end of a love affair, but I think it was the writing itself that gave me hope - hope that someone who can capture the world with sensitivity, originality, whimsey and wit will be published, will be read.
— Lou Godbold, author
Your radiant little book arrived on xmas eve. How cool is that? But on xmas day, I had plenty of time and so was able to read From the Umberplatzen twice. 'Twas my 'xmas miracle'....
— Sally Reno, author and Writer/Producer Pacifica Radio AM/FM
I just finished this little gem. I loved "Waterfalls" best of all the jewels in the book. From every angle, syntactically and visually, from the characterization of M through the metaphor of escape in his obsession with the kites to the ongoing conceit of her memories taking form as mailed objects of almost obsessive love, even the punctuation makes this a wonderfully realized whole.
— J.P. Reese, This and Connotation Press
An outstanding read, Susan. Moves so well - piece to piece. Great story.
— Sam Rasnake, Blue Fifth Review
I'm so thoroughly taken with this book – I read it cover to cover as soon as it arrived. An outstanding, fantastic read by Susan Tepper.
— Kari Nguyen, winner of the Glass Woman Prize