“The biggest writer of our Time”

Interview by Kate Penn, Washington Bugle

So you actually mean big as in “big volume”? Wouldn’t it be more appropriate if you said “greatest writer”?

After all my years as a writer of culture you should think I had seen it all, but there is one thing that sets Peter Stein apart from all other authors I have met. He is Big! And I do not mean the “head taller” size now. I’m talking about “walk-sideways-through-the-door-and-push-through-the-stomach” size.

The suite at the Hilton carries traces of his weight. Splintered wood, tossed into a corner, is all that remains of an armchair where the author attempted to park his body.
He plops himself down on the floor in front of me. I can feel a faint smell of garlic surrounding him before I pick up my notebook and start the interview.

KP: I understand that this is your first visit to the United States. How do you like it?

PS: First of all, I would like to say that this interview is likely to be like the last one. Total fucking bogus bullshit. And what “smell of garlic”? Should you insult me ​​before you even start asking the questions?

KP: It was a statement only. No offense. Okay. Then we get started. Peter Stein, Swedish writer visiting the United States to promote his new book, “Cutie”. How long will you stay and which cities will you visit?

PS: Do you know what Kate – or whatever your name is, I’ve had enough of this. The interview is over. Take your damn notebook and get out.

The atmosphere in the room quickly turned and the warm smile he gave me when I arrived is now completely gone. For a moment, I feel directly threatened as he stares at me and begins to move towards me.

I give the photographer a quick nudge towards the exit and a few seconds later we stand in the hotel corridor. The last thing I see of Peter Stein before he slammes the door is that he gives us the finger with a powerful pumping movement upside down. The rage shines in his eyes and I’m more than happy to leave the hotel without an interview.

What a strange person! One thing for certain is that he has a huge problem with journalists. I wonder who will be the next poor thing to be exposed to this temperamental writer.

It does not matter who it gets it next. It will not be me.


I’m getting tired of your line of questioning. Don’t push it.