12 Feb 2020
A Lesser Day
The New York-born, Berlin-based author Andrea Scrima will read from her novel A Lesser Day, a meditation on the workings of memory and the relationship between location and time.
The East Village of the early eighties; West Berlin in the shadow of the Cold War; Brooklyn approaching the end of the millennium: Andrea Scrima´s A Lesser Day describes a life between continents and cultures. The narrator, a young art school graduate, gets by checking coats for an uptown martini lunch crowd while her friend works in the peep shows of the West Forties; when she eventually makes her way to Berlin, she sets up her studio in an empty factory space near the Wall. Vignette-like descriptions of characters for the most part barely subsisting on society´s fringes alternate with moments of wider historical significance. As the narrator examines the mechanisms of memory and forgetting, now and again addressing a continually shifting you in a search for emotional understanding initially directed at the narrator´s dead father and then merging into a blur of intimate others, little escapes the author´s scrutinizing eye in her search to locate meaning in the passage of time as it inscribes itself into the myriad things around us: the mute, insentient witnesses of our everyday existence.
Andrea Scrima (1960, New York) studied fine arts at the School of Visual Arts in New York and the Hochschule der Künste, Berlin. In 2018, her first book, the novel A Lesser Day, was rereleased in a second edition to accompany the publication of a widely acclaimed German translation (Wie viele Tage, Droschl, Graz). Scrima´s criticism can be read in journals including 3 Quarks Daily, The Brooklyn Rail, Music & Literature, The Quarterly Conversation, Frankfurter Allgemeine Sonntagszeitung, Schreibheft, Manuskripte, and others. She was the recipient of a literature fellowship from the Berlin Council on Science, Research, and the Arts; her second book, Like Lips, Like Skins, is forthcoming in 2021. Prior to her decision to focus on literature, Scrima worked as a professional artist for many years, incorporating short fiction pieces into large-scale text installations. She has received numerous awards for her artistic work, including grants from the Pollock-Krasner Foundation and the Berlin Council on Science, Research, and the Arts. Scrima was a recipient of the Lingen Art Prize. She has exhibited internationally.