Henning Koch’s Love Doesn’t Work, just released from Dzanc Books, is a collection of seven “dualist” tales that examine the struggles of the human condition with sharp satire but also surprising vulnerability. I picked up the collection at AWP and couldn’t wait to talk to Koch, an ex-screenwriter and literary translator living in Berlin, about his influences, the minefields of publishing, and why he thinks love doesn’t work.

So we did, and here it is.

My world is limitation, my whole life has been limitation from beginning to end. I’ve got used to it; the first time I saw a woman naked I looked at her and thought, “My God, it’s not what I thought!” And when I went to the ‘obligatory’ places for the first time – Venice, Paris, Barcelona – they struck me as self-conscious arenas designed for the tourist to come and buy a post card. Consumed, empty theatres.