An ambitious scientist plots alone in her flat in 1930s Berlin. Her experiments, stolen from colleagues she has sent to their deaths in the madhouse and concentration camps, are sure to impress the new Minister of Propaganda. But a lifetime spent learning to control those around her is about to come back to haunt her as for the first time she falls under the spell of a more skilled manipulator than her.
A Spanish civil servant drives through the heart of the country to his mother’s home town where he must build a car factory to stop the town sinking into the desert. His companion on the journey is the Chinese businesswoman sent to finalise the deal. The woman who had been his first lover, decades earlier.
An elderly lady sits among friends in a care home. Together they remember the loves of their distant past. But Catherine has no interest in the past. She is certain a young Polish man is on his way to marry her.
Ode to Jouissance is a collection of three full-length (5000 words) short stories that explore nostalgia and eroticism in the fragments of modern Europe. From the youthful Ilke, through the middle-aged Ignacio to the elderly Catherin, these stories weave together to form a tapestry of desire that grows stronger and more fulfilled with age. With echoes of Kundera and Murakami, a gentle but insistent theme of hope amidst the ruins builds to a heartbreaking but uplifting crescendo.