Man Booker International Prize finalist Peter Stamm explores what it means to be in the middle of nowhere, in mind and in body.
Happily married with two children and a comfortable home in a Swiss town, Thomas and Astrid enjoy a glass of wine in their garden on a night like any other. Called back to the house by their son’s cries, Astrid goes inside, expecting her husband to join her in a bit. But Thomas gets up and, after a brief moment of hesitation, opens the gate and walks out.
No longer bound by the ties of his everyday life—family, friends, work—Thomas begins a winding trek across the countryside, exposed as never before to the Alpine winter. At home, Astrid wonders where he’s gone, when he’ll come back, whether he’s still alive.
Unfailingly perceptive and precise, Peter Stamm gives form to doubts that disturb us all at times: Are we being true to ourselves? Are we loved for our true selves? Following Thomas and Astrid on their separate paths, To the Back of Beyond eloquently traces the effects of loss and the limits of freedom.