Author: Birgitta Boucht

Close encounters

Issue 1/2003 | Archives online, Fiction, Prose

Stories from Konservatorns blick (‘A conservator’s gaze’, Schildts, 2002). Introduction by Fredrik Hertzberg

Unmarried and randy in a hotel foyer

The hotel foyer in Baghdad was swarming with people as anxious to advertise themselves as westerners at the opening of an art exhibition. I bumped into a man who quickly introduced himself, handed me his card and wondered whether I had an engagement that evening.

‘No,’ I said, truthfully.

‘Then kindly come home with me at nine,’ he said, with a florid gesture in the direction of my breasts.

‘No thank you,’ I answered. ‘I do have an engagement, I’ve just remembered.’ More…

I’ll never forget you

30 September 2000 | Fiction, Prose

An extract from the novel Mariposa (Schildts, 1999)

Roza and Melancholie were sitting in a bar drinking beer. They hadn’t met for a long time because they bored each other. But they were best friends nonetheless. What do you do when you can’t stand meeting your best friend? You switch on your answerphone and tell lies. Today by mistake one of them had answered the phone.

Roza was dressed in her brother Armand’s old clothes, a bad habit which irritated people but which she found hard to break. Her brother had vanished long ago leaving his clothes behind. They smelled of tobacco and sweat. Roza used them to keep him alive. She could spend whole evenings going through his wardrobe. There was a dress shirt, not that you’d have expected it.

The two young women studied each other. Melancholie noted that Roza had bitten down her cuticles again.

‘How’s life?’ she asked.

‘So-so. And you?’ More…