The Questionable Ones
A brilliant collection of microfiction, reflecting our fragmented times.
With quirky humour and wry insight, Swiss author Judith Keller’s micro-fictions unravel the fabric of daily life. She delves into the aporia of language by taking idiomatic expressions literally, unpacking the multiple meanings of words, and confounding expectations. Seven Zurich tram stops provide the framework for these familiar yet absurd portraits of passers-by, fellow passengers on the tram, the unemployed and the overemployed, the innocent and the suspicious, young mothers and confused elderly. The reader is taken on a journey through the city and offered glimpses of people going more or less successfully about their lives. These deceptively banal glimpses, however, show us more than we expect—they turn the lens back on us, puncture our complacency and ask, ‘Who are you to judge?’
The characters are hapless and far fetched, trying to find their footing on shifting ground and grateful for what happiness they can find. In just a sentence or two, Keller unlocks metaphysical trapdoors. The Questionable Ones offers a collection of snapshots that reveal the extraordinary lurking inside the ordinary and the ordinary at the core of the extraordinary.
Click here to read an interview with Judith Keller for Deutsches Haus at NYU.
Click here to listen to a conversation between the author Judith Keller and the translator Tess Lewis at the Festival Neue Literatur 2020.
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