Synopses & Reviews
A powerful and elegant debut novel about love, memory, exile, and war.
One snowy December morning in an old European city, an American man leaves his shabby hotel to meet a local woman who has agreed to help him search for an apartment to rent. The Apartment follows the couple across a blurry, illogical, and frozen city into a past the man is hoping to forget, and leaves them at the doorstep of an uncertain future-their cityscape punctuated by the man's lingering memories of time spent in Iraq and the life he abandoned in the United States. Contained within the details of this day is a complex meditation on America's relationship with the rest of the world, an unflinching glimpse at the permanence of guilt and despair, and an exploration into our desire to cure violence with violence.
A novel about how our relationships to others — and most importantly to ourselves-alters how we see the world, The Apartment perfectly captures the peculiarity and excitement of being a stranger in a strange city. Written in an affecting and intimate tone that gradually expands in scope, intensity, poetry, and drama, Greg Baxter's clear-eyed first novel tells the intriguing story of these two people on this single day. Both beguiling and raw in its observations and language, The Apartment is a crisp novel with enormous range that offers profound and unexpected wisdom.
"The novel shines most in the telling-the slow, deliberate narrative unfolds like a quiet symphony, and Baxter's prose lingers inexplicably, like a beautifully sad song." Publisher's Weekly
"A formally and thematically ambitious debut novel....Following the lead of James Joyce, Don Delillo and others, the novel takes place over the course of a single day in the life of its protagonist as he makes his way across an unnamed European city in search of the titular apartment....A very smart novel." Kirkus Reviews (Starred Review)
"Imagine you're on a roller-coaster... suddenly, without warning, it tips vertiginously, so quickly that your chest constricts and while you're there, suspended, momentarily, at the apex of this roller-coaster, you're aware suddenly of a kind of clarity, a totally new perspective on everything below. Greg Baxter's The Apartment is a bit like this....Full of unshowy wisdom and surprising moments of beauty." Sunday Telegraph
About the Author
Greg Baxter was born and raised in Texas. Over the last twenty years, he has lived variously in Ireland, England, Austria, Chicago, Louisiana, and Germany. In 2010 he published his first book, the critically acclaimed A Preparation for Death. He now lives in Berlin, where he writes and translates.