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Fantoompijn
Arnon Grunberg
publisher: Nijgh & Van Ditmar, 2000

translated as:
Phantom Pain
publisher: Querido, Amsterdam, 2003
translation: Sam Garrett

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Once a literary novelist of some respectability, now brought low by the double insult of obscurity and crippling debt, Robert G. Mehlman is a man in need of money and recognition, fast. It is, of course, to cookery writing that he turns. A practised decadent, a habitual spendthrift and a serial womaniser, he has, ostensibly, all the right qualities. But the path to fame is never a smooth one. Phantom Pain consists largely of the bitterly funny but unpublished manuscript of Mehlman's autobiography. In it, he tells the parallel stories of his decaying marriage and his puzzling affair with a woman he meets by chance and who accompanies him on the road. Their journey takes them on a chaffeur-driven, midnight run from New York to Atlantic City where they gamble away most of Mehlman's remaining funds and then north, to Albany, where his unlikely salvation, and the inspiration for his book Polish-Jewish Cuisine in 69 Recipes, lie.

bookweb    
BOOKS BY ARNON GRUNBERG:

Blue Mondays
1994
The New York Times Book Review, on Arnon Grunberg’s debut novel, Blue Mondays, warns that 'readers seeking a heartwarming book about growing up should look elsewhere.'
The Jewish Messiah
2004
Xavier Radek, grandson of a late SS-member, decides to take on the mission of 'consoling the Jews.'
Phantom Pain
2000
A black, funny novel about a once respectable writer on the make.
ON ARNON GRUNBERG'S BOOKSHELF

Tropic of Cancer
Henry Miller, 1934
A monologue about Miller's picaresque life as an impoverished expatriate in France in the early 1930s.

Ask the Dust
John Fante, 1939
Fante describes the adventures of his alterego, Arturo Bandini, as the struggling young writer tackles Los Angeles in the late 1930s.

Karlson on the Roof
Astrid Lindgren, 1945
Astrid Lindgren's tale of a lonely Swedish lad who is befriended by a tubby, propeller-clad flying character is universally revered as one of the best children's books ever written.

The Virgin Suicides
Jeffrey Eugenides, 1993
American suburban drama, told in the first person plural (the 'we' viewpoint).

[De heilige Antonio]
1998

WHAT TO READ AFTER DE HEILIGE ANTONIO?

GRUNBERG-STYLE
Pizzeria Kamikaze
Etgar Keret, 1998
A guy with a broken heart commits suicide, only to find himself at Pizza Kamikaze, a regular day job in a world where everyone has already died.

Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close
Jonathan Safran Foer, 2005
Nine-year-old Oskar careens from Central Park to Coney Island searching for a lock to fit the mysterious key left by his now deceased father.

Silent Extras
1997
Ewald, Broccoli and the exotic Elvira are three young friends on the run from the horrifying possibility of living mundane lives. So Broccoli, self-styled Svengali, begins 'Operation Brando,' an insanely ambitious plan to make them the biggest stars Hollywood has ever known.
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The Ledge
editor-in-chief: Stacey Knecht, info@the-ledge.com
Thanks to: De digitale pioniers and
Het Prins Bernhard Cultuurfonds
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Copyright: Pieter Steinz, Stacey Knecht
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