The following is from Lydia Sandgren's debut novel Collected Works. Sandgren is a trained psychologist and lives in Gothenburg, Sweden. A din of voices rose towards the domed ceiling of the market hall. Coats were unbuttoned, scarves unwrapped, and gloves held in one hand as customers leaned across counters to talk to cashiers. Martin was waiting for his lamb chops to be cut and wrapped when he caught a glimpse of a woman out of the corner of his eye. She was the right height, and her hair was cut in a curly bob, and for a second, he felt like he was falling through the floor. Is that— No, Martin told himself. It never was. He shook his legs one at a time to regain control over them. As soon as the woman turned around, any similarity would be gone. Look, now she's moving . . . And her face was a stranger's, as he'd known it would be. She had sharp eyes and determined creases between her nose and her mouth. She was holding a pair of powder-blue suede gloves and carrying a handbag in the crook of her arm. She was probably about to go home to her family in Askim or Billdal, where she would sit down with a glass of wine, feel annoyed at her husband clattering in the kitchen—he was always so loud, no matter how she tried to explain that it hurt her ears, that it was painful—and ask her […]
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