The Pequod Review:
The plot of Go, Went, Gone (in which a retired German professor befriends a group of African refugees in Berlin) is a bit too predictable, but Jenny Erpenbeck is a superb writer with beautiful descriptions of our everyday routines and interior thoughts:
For dinner, Richard makes open-face sandwiches with cheese and ham, with a salad on the side. The cheese was on sale today (at the store now invariably referred to by the West German designation Supermarkt - it was a Kaufhalle back in Socialist times). It was almost past its sell-by date. He doesn’t have to scrimp, his pension covers all he needs, but why pay more than is necessary? He slices onions for the salad - he’s been slicing onions all his life, but just recently he saw in a cookbook the best way to hold the onion to keep it from sliding out from under the knife, there’s an ideal form for everything, not just in matters of work and art, but also for the most mundane, ordinary things. When it comes down to it, he thinks, we probably spend our entire lives just trying to attain this form.