Our Reading Guide for Maybe This Time with much food for thought. 

Click here to view with option to download as pdf.


1 How does the text create an atmosphere of unease? What is it about the writing that makes these stories so uncomfortable?

2 What are the roles played by female characters in the book?

3 How far can we trust the narrator in any of these stories?

4 What is the role of absence in the book? Does Hotschnig define his characters by what is not there, rather than what is?

5 Are these, as Hostchnig has suggested, ‘normal’ stories about ‘normal’ life? Can you see yourself in the protagonists’ shoes?

6 Two of the stories, ‘The Same Silence, The Same Noise’ and ‘The Light in My Room’ are set next to a lake, and water figures prominently in both. Why is this? Does the lake represent anything?

7 What happens to these stories on a second reading? Do they change, or does the reader change?

8 Dreams feature heavily in the stories, particularly ‘The Beginning of Something’. How appropriate is the term ‘dream-like’ to describe this book?

9 What is the role of children in the stories? How is their world contrasted with that of adults?

10 What impression of the natural (i.e. non-human) world do these stories leave us with? How do the human characters of this book reflect on the landscapes they are situated within, and vice versa?