Munich Airport: the brilliant, haunting new novel by Greg Baxter
An American expat in London, about to enter a meeting, takes a phone call. The caller is a German policewoman. The news she has to convey is almost incomprehensible: the man's sister, Miriam, has been found dead in her Berlin flat, of starvation.
Three weeks later, the man, his elderly father, and an American consular official find themselves in an almost unbearably strange place: a fogbound Munich Airport, where Miriam's coffin is to be loaded onto a commercial jet. Greg Baxter's extraordinary novel tells the story of these three people over those three weeks of waiting for Miriam's body to be released, sifting through her possessions, and trying to work out what could have led her to her awful death.
Munich Airport is a novel about the meaning of home, and about the families we improvise when our real families fall apart. It is a gripping, daring and mesmeric read from one of the most gifted young novelists currently at work.
Greg Baxter was born in Texas in 1974. He lived for a number of years in Dublin, and now lives in Berlin. He is the author of two previous highly acclaimed books: A Preparation for Death, a memoir, and The Apartment, a novel.
'This rich and profound book is full of philosophical ideas and stark, ascetic beauty ... The writing is scrupulous and often superb ... I wholeheartedly recommend Munich Airport to everyone interested in the ongoing and fascinating human conversation that is first-rate fiction.' Guardian
'Quiet but mesmeric ... The three central characters are beautifully drawn, their personalities unveiled for us during a series of understated revelations...It is a novel that, without a trace of sentimentality, is about the importance of family, and conversely how the existential loneliness of each of the characters has impoverished their lives' Independent
'A story ... about the age in which we live, the nature of consumption, and the terrors that beset us and alienate us from ourselves and each other. ... So much more bracing and consequential than the bulk of contemporary fiction' Irish Times
'Assured and fluent ... a forensic examination of what it means today to be a man, and to be human' TLS
'Honest, bracing and eloquent ... Munich Airport is a brilliant achievement' Wall Street Journal
'A writer of courage and lucidity. His fluent and assured prose owes some debt to the Austro-Hungarian Franz Kafka and the Austrian Thomas Bernhard. ... Baxter is high literature' New York Times
The Apartment, the astonishing first novel by Greg Baxter, is a tale of war and peace, friendship and aloneness.
A man walks across an old European capital. Heavy snow falls. He has come here from far away, hoping to forget. Instead, he remembers: home, war, lost friends. Complicity. In the company of a new friend and alive to the new experiences of the city, he moves through the snow and his complicated history in search of an apartment.
The Apartment, by the author of the acclaimed memoir A Preparation for Death, is a novel about war, the relationship between America and the rest of the world, and the brittle foundations of Western culture; but above all it is a book about the mysteries and alchemies of friendship - truthful, moving and brilliant. Acclaimed by Hisham Matar, Adam Thorpe and Roddy Doyle, among others, The Apartment is a deeply original and profoundly involving novel.
'Admirable for its scope, ambition and unashamed seriousness of purpose, as well as its willingness to take stylistic and structural risks' Julie Myerson, Observer
'Stunningly good' Susan Jeffreys, Saturday Review, BBC Radio Four
'Baxter's superbly elegant, understated writing explores the dynamics of America's relationship with the rest of the world' The Times
'Lucidly written and astutely observed ... The novel exerts a hypnotic force ... Baxter continually undercuts our expectations for his novel. And it is precisely this sort of subversion, along with the author's shimmering prose, that makes The Apartment such a surprisingly compelling read' New York Times
'Absorbing, atmospheric and enigmatic ... Its long, frigid journey into a long, sleepless night explores a man's uneasy relationship with his past, himself and a world in which violence is inescapable' Los Angeles Times
'Powerful ... Baxter's clean and direct prose generates its own momentum' Daily Beast
'A wonderful, horrible, wise novel' Dazed & Confused (Book of the Month)
'A dark and sinewy novel, written with sparse clarity and affecting subtlety' Stuart Evers, Observer (Books of the Year)
Greg Baxter was born in Texas in 1974. He lived for a number of years in Dublin, and now lives in Berlin. He is the author of the acclaimed memoir A Preparation for Death. The Apartment is his first novel.
In his early thirties, Greg Baxter found himself in a strange place. He hated his job, he was drinking excessively, he was sabotaging his most important relationships, and he was no longer doing the thing he cared about most: writing. Strangest of all, at this time he started teaching evening classes in creative writing - and his life changed utterly.
A Preparation for Death is a document of the chaos and discovery of that time and of the experiences that led Greg Baxter to that strange place - an extraordinarily intimate account of literary failure (and its consequences), personal decay, and redemption through reading, writing, and truth-telling.
'Brilliant and wonderfully original ... Yes, this is a book about drinking and shagging. But rarely have these things been written about so well' William Leith, Literary Review
'Baxter is a serious, thoughtful writer, bend on emotional truth and artistry. He has written an unusual, provocative book' Suzi Feay, Financial Times
'Brave, honest and propulsive' Metro
'The triumph is the steely courage it takes to put a life down with such uncompromising clarity' Hugo Hamilton, Irish Times
'This is an occasionally infuriating and completely wonderful book. I read it in one sitting, unsettled and delighted by its ferocity' Anne Enright