Imagine you’re seventy or eighty—in a word, you’re old. You’ve got no one, you’re all alone. There’s nobody to leave something to. No one to work for. The state gives you food stamps, perhaps a pension. It’s not much, but you don’t need more. You’ve got a roof over your head, an entire house. It keeps you nice and cool in summer and warm in winter. You’re not missing anything. Then, you get a letter that says you can get a million marks in faraway Berlin, if you trade everything you own for something you don’t need. What would you do with a million, if you were in their place? Buy a bigger house? Keep cooler in the summer and warmer in the winter? Buy youth?
The publisher of the English translation of The German Lottery calls the novella “altogether funnier and more kind-hearted than you might expect.” Is he expecting the author to be as well?
Tomorrow is the official publication date for The German Lottery, which was translated from the Slovene language into English by the talented Urška Zupanec.