Small Town Affairs
Published by Diogenes as Kleinstadtaffäre
Original Title: Kleinstadtaffäre
When the renowned author Carl Wallot travels to Merzthal for a book reading, the local inhabitants do not exactly afford him a hospitable welcome. But wooed by the lovely Susanne, Wallot ends up staying longer than he had originally planned. The events he witnesses in the provincial town seem increasingly odd to him. For example, Susanne's marriage to the much older Keppler, the owner of a large factory and patron of Merzthal, a benefactor whose record is not entirely clean. The cosmopolitan Wallot, who ridicules the parochial patriotism of the Merzthalers, their pride in their native town, and feels himself far superior to them, begins to snoop around and soon sniffs out provocative material for a provincial roman à clef. At least that is the suspicion of the narrator, Jörg Froberger, a young and talented local journalist who knows his way around Merzthal and, moreover, observes everything that happens to Susanne with a loving, jealous eye. But the writer has not reckoned on the reaction of the inhabitants of Merzthal. A psychologically intense novel about the sinister entanglement of money, power and emotion.