Peter Stamm translated from the German by Michael Hofmann


A Novel

Publication Date: Sep 24, 2019

176 pp


List Price US $8.99
ISBN: 978-1-59051-812-0

Trade Paperback

List Price US $14.99
Trim Size (H x W): 5 x 7.5
ISBN: 978-1-59051-153-4

Peter Stamm’s best-selling debut novel, Agnes, now available for the first time in paperback.

“Write a story about me,” Agnes said to her lover, “so I know what you think of me.” So he started to write the story of everything that had happened to them from the moment they met.

At first, he works with Agnes to create a narrative that is most true to life, but as time passes and he grows more enamored with the narrative he has begun, he continues writing on his own, imagining a future for them after he reaches the present. Happy couples do not necessarily make for compelling reading, and as Agnes sees the unexpected plot he has planned for her, the line between fiction and reality begins to blur.

In this unforgettable and haunting novel Stamm incisively examines the power of storytelling to influence thought and behavior, reaching a chilling conclusion.

Excerpt from Agnes

“A kind of parable…simple and haunting.” —New York Review of Books

Agnes is a moody, unsettled, and elusive little fable—and it’s always interesting.” —Wall Street Journal

“A haunting psychological study.” —The New Yorker

“A provocative and mesmerizing book.” —Publishers Weekly

“An urgent and unsettling read.” —Library Journal

“This short novel should appeal to readers enchanted by [Stamm’s] elliptical style…an extended meditation on the interrelationship between life and fiction.” —Kirkus Reviews

“This tale moves briskly and plausibly toward the dark conclusion it announces at the outset. Stamm manages to dramatize the truism that writers become caught up in the world their words create, that readers become enamored of characters in fiction, and both mourn when characters suffer…gripping…unsettling.” —Booklist