Snowed Under - Red Hen Press, Los Angeles 2008

Snowed Under is an episodic novel composed of thirteen connected short stories. The action takes place in a small East Euroean ski resort called Harrachov, during the chaotic period following the fall of the Wall. Though the rapid process of Westernization has already begun making inroads into he sleepy town, traces of the defunct socialist regime cannot be erased from its residents' memories or their way of doing things: The postmaster continues to "inspect" letters even if the old secret service has long since been deposed; the barkeeper blackmails a West German investor so he can finance a trip around the world; Adina, the last teenager in the town, searches for a new identity over the internet.

Through the alternating perspectives of the town residents we learn about two Germans, Evy and Vera, who have come to the resort for a weeklong ski vacation. Their relationship, already on the brink of collapse, threatens to fall apart competely when they find themselves unable to leave the mountain village during a snow storm. Though Antje Rávic Strubel seems to be telling a love story, her topic is about the loss of nation and identity.
Zaia Alexander

excerpt of Snowed Under