Retrograde by Kat HauslerRetrograde by Kat Hausler


byKat Hausler

Paperback | September 26, 2017

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On a warm summer day in Berlin, Helena is hit by a truck while crossing the street. She awakens to the loving face of her husband Joachim. In addition to a few broken bones, she realizes she can't remember anything about the accident, or even the last few years leading up to it. Retrograde amnesia the doctors call it, and assure her that with time, she should regain her memory.

At loose ends after another botched relationship, Joachim doesn't intend to lie to his estranged wife, Helena. But when he realizes that she doesn't remember their separation, he can't bring himself to tell her. So he does what any rational man would do: he takes her home and pretends they were never apart.

As the lies accumulate, Helena senses something isn't quite right-that her husband is hiding something. When the outside world encroaches, Helena must face an unsettling truth and decide what the past will mean for their future. Is the past binding, or can she go back and change what went wrong in their relationship? And if given the chance, would she even want to?

In her beautifully written debut novel, Kat Hausler weaves a haunting  tale of the tenuous nature of love. 

Kirkus Reviews - "A strongly written tale about resurrecting a marriage under the most unusual and mysterious of circumstances."

Nudge Books -(4 stars) "This disturbing, haunting and powerful story explores the minutiae of the relationship between the couple as they start to live together again . . . the ending was a masterpiece of the power of "less is more" in story-telling."

Originally from Virginia, Kat Hausler is a graduate of New York University and holds an M.F.A. in Fiction from Fairleigh Dickinson University, where she was the recipient of a Baumeister Fellowship. Her work has been published by 34th Parallel, Inkspill Magazine, All Things That Matter Press, Rozlyn Press, and BlazeVOX. Her novel Retro...
Title:RetrogradeFormat:PaperbackDimensions:270 pages, 8.78 × 6.07 × 0.54 inPublished:September 26, 2017Publisher:Meerkat Press, LLCLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:1946154024

ISBN - 13:9781946154026


Read from the Book

            Leila left Joachim when she found out he was married. It wasn't the only reason, but it was a reason. There's always enough resentment between two people for a separation; all it takes is a catalyst. That's what Joachim tells himself, anyway.             In this case, he'd made an innocent remark about his wife. He can't remember afterwards what he and Leila were talking about, what caused him to say: "My ex-wife always used to say that."            He must've said it a million times. But this time, the million-and-first time, Leila had a rare moment of curiosity about his past, and asked, "How long ago did you actually get divorced?"            "Well," he said, "the thing is."            The thing is that they aren't divorced. Not because there's any lingering chance of reconciliation, but for the simple reason that Joachim can't reach his wife. For almost three years, he hasn't had any idea where she is. Not only did she change her number after she moved out, but all of his emails were either returned automatically or never answered, whether he sent them to her, her parents or the friends-and that had been most of them-who sided with her. No one he called would admit to knowing where she was, and that got embarrassing fast. Her parents had his number blocked, and at the time, he was too ashamed to call from another phone. What would he have said?            After all, he doesn't really want to talk to Helena. He just feels that he should be able to if he needs to. To divorce her, for example.            It's not that he's in any hurry to get married again; he's just tired of being married to someone he never sees.  It's like one of his arms up and pulled itself free of him, and is out there now, shaking hands and signing documents in his name. He doesn't like knowing there's a part of him out there without him.            But Leila wasn't convinced. She said it was just like him not to have said anything and that he was always keeping important things from her.            "Yeah, that's what my ex-wife-" he started to say, out of habit.             Leila piled her dark, bouncing curls into a bun on top of her head, always a sign that she was about to leave. He reached up to stroke her hair, and she slapped him hard enough to leave a mark.            "For heaven's sake, Darling, I haven't heard from her in years. I could probably have her declared legally dead."            "I'm leaving," she said.            He managed to keep himself from repeating his fatal remark a third time. Unlike his wife, the first time Leila said she was leaving, she actually did.

Editorial Reviews

(4 stars) "This disturbing, haunting and powerful story explores the minutiae of the relationship between the couple as they start to live together again . . . the ending was a masterpiece of the power of "less is more" in story-telling - but if you want to know what it is, then you will have to read this wonderful novel."