Books by Michael Hofmann

WE'RE FLYING by Peter Stamm
Released: Aug. 14, 2012

"For those who have an affinity for metaphysical fiction written with a surgeon's precision, this collection will spur readers to seek out everything else by its author."
Beneath the surface placidity of Swiss life, undercurrents of spiritual turmoil and existential despair charge this powerful collection of provocative stories. Read full book review >
JOSEPH ROTH by Joseph Roth
Released: Jan. 16, 2012

"A quintessential depiction of one man's view from the brink of the abyss."
The doomed world of interwar Europe comes to burning life in the anguished correspondence of the peripatetic Austrian novelist/journalist. Read full book review >
SEVEN YEARS by Peter Stamm
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: March 22, 2011

"A monster with a full-bore obsession might have been fun to read about, but that's not what's on offer in this damp squib."
One man steers an erratic course between two women in this wan account of a quasi-obsession, the latest from the Swiss Stamm (On a Day Like This, 2008, etc.). Read full book review >
EVERY MAN DIES ALONE by Hans Fallada
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: March 1, 2009

"A very welcome resurrection for a great writer crucified by history."
Grim, powerful epic portrait of life in Germany under Nazi rule, published shortly after the author's death in 1947 but never before available in English. Read full book review >
CHILD OF ALL NATIONS by Irmgard Keun
Released: Sept. 1, 2008

"Poignant, especially for contemporary readers who know that far greater horrors were still to come."
An utterly compelling look at pre–World War II Germany, first published in 1938 and available in English for the first time. Read full book review >
ON A DAY LIKE THIS by Peter Stamm
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: July 1, 2008

"Andreas's condition does not seem authentic in this mannered treatment."
The Swiss author (stories: In Strange Gardens, 2006, etc.) examines a barren life in his latest novel. Read full book review >
THE SEVENTH WELL by Fred Wander
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Dec. 1, 2007

"A story we cannot hear too many times is grippingly retold in this blistering report from hell on earth. Wander's legacy thus becomes a gift bequeathed to all of us."
The experiences of Galician Holocaust survivor Wander, who died in 2006, are starkly fictionalized in this lyrical novel originally published in East Germany in 1970. Read full book review >
FROST by Thomas Bernhard
THRILLERS
Released: Oct. 19, 2006

"Great stuff, but it won't make you feel good."
The late, brilliant Austrian writer's first (1963) novel, previously untranslated, is a characteristic excoriation of all things great and small and the tragicomedy of existence. Read full book review >
IN STRANGE GARDENS by Peter Stamm
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: April 18, 2006

"While Stamm doesn't discount the possibility of happiness and comradeship, there is invariably an ounce of joy for every pound of gloom."
Most of the individuals in these austerely written stories by Swiss novelist Stamm (Unformed Landscape, 2005, etc.) lead humdrum but desperate lives. Read full book review >
A STRANGER TO MYSELF by Willy Peter Reese
HISTORY
Released: Nov. 2, 2005

"<\b>Candid, personal, laced with thoroughly haunting imagery."
Memoirs from the Eastern Front by an ordinary Wehrmacht soldier with an extraordinary grasp the horrors of war. Read full book review >
AN INNOCENT SOLDIER by Josef Holub
FICTION
Released: Oct. 1, 2005

"Translated from the German, the simple, understated and at times eloquent first-person narrative rings true to one boy's experience of war, adventure and survival. (map spread, historical note) (Fiction. 12+)"
Sixteen-year-old Adam Feuchter is tricked by the farmer he works for, substituted for the farmer's own son and drafted into the army. Read full book review >
PARTY IN THE BLITZ by Elias Canetti
HISTORY
Released: Sept. 30, 2005

"A fresh and color-drenched memoir by an artist unafraid to offend."
Vivid portraits, affectionate but unsparing, of people encountered by Nobel laureate Canetti (Notes from Hampstead, 1998, etc.) while living in England. Read full book review >
UNFORMED LANDSCAPE by Peter Stamm
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: April 1, 2005

"Stylistically two-dimensional, with frozen surfaces that resist the reader."
An oddly vacant, cold-blooded tale of a wayward young wife in isolated coastal Norway. Read full book review >
TIGOR by Peter Stephan Jungk
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Oct. 1, 2004

" A loose string of events that shows little evidence of much emotional investment, on Jungk's part, in his characters, providing the reader scant chance to warm up to his oddly named hero. The result: a listless, cold-eyed, quixotic romance that seems to suffer in translation."
German-American novelist (The Perfect American, p. 244) and biographer (Franz Werfel, 1990) Jungk offers a disjointed tale about a mathematician by the name of Tigor, who, in troubled midlife, drifts on a series of fruitless, ill-connected adventures. Read full book review >
THE PERFECT AMERICAN by Peter Stephan Jungk
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: June 1, 2004

"Sharp as a razor: The Perfect American says more about Disney, and the seduction of megalomania, than a stack of biographies."
And, no, there's absolutely no weighted meaning in that title. Read full book review >
LICHTENBERG AND THE LITTLE FLOWER GIRL by Gert Hofmann
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: May 26, 2004

"Brimful with love, nature, energy, and intellect: history proved on the pulse and expressed through the heart. A treasure."
Hoffman died in 1993, and his last novel (following The Film Explainer, published here in 1996), translated again by his own son, is a quietly powerful masterpiece of human charm that manages to capture the very essence of the Enlightenment in Germany. Read full book review >
REPORT FROM A PARISIAN PARADISE by Joseph Roth
SOCIAL SCIENCES
Released: Dec. 1, 2003

"Haunting and powerful evocation of a world Hitler despised."
One of the greatest newspaper correspondents during the golden age of German journalism brilliantly illuminates the inexorable, deepening chaos that prefaced WWII. Read full book review >
A SAD AFFAIR by Wolfgang Koeppen
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: July 1, 2003

"Koeppen (The Hothouse, 2001, etc.), who's unlike any other writer, produced only five novels in a 60-year career span. But they're all gems, and A Sad Affair is one of the brightest."
An engagingly callow swain pursues the "actress" of his dreams in this previously untranslated 1934 fiction, the first by the great, underrated German author (1902–96). Read full book review >
WHAT I SAW by Joseph Roth
CURRENT AFFAIRS
Released: Dec. 1, 2002

"Poignant and prescient. (35 b&w photos)"
Evocative pieces about life in interbellum Berlin by a Jewish journalist and fiction writer (The Collected Stories of Joseph Roth, 2002, etc.). Read full book review >
THE HOTHOUSE by Wolfgang Koeppen
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: June 1, 2001

"A rediscovered masterpiece. Norton is reissuing Koeppen's Death in Rome to accompany it. Let's hope a new edition of Pigeons on the Grass will follow soon thereafter."
The first English translation of an important German novel, first published in 1953, whose pointillist complexity offers a searing image of postwar Germany on the perilous threshold of partition and possible rearmament. Read full book review >
THE COLLECTED STORIES OF JOSEPH ROTH by Joseph Roth
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Feb. 1, 2001

"Essential, deeply satisfying fiction from one of the least known of the 20th-century's greatest writers."
An important collection of 17 stories and (brief) novellas, all written between 1916 and 1940 by the Austrian writer whose superb novels (including The Silent Prophet and The Radetzky March) rank among the finest rediscovered fiction of recent decades. Read full book review >
THE WANDERING JEWS by Joseph Roth
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Nov. 20, 2000

"Graphic sketches of a life long gone, rendered with a sharp eye and an even sharper tongue. (9 b&w photos)"
The first English translation of five eloquent essays on the plight of the European Jews by Austrian author Roth (1894–1939). Read full book review >
REBELLION by Joseph Roth
SCIENCE FICTION & FANTASY
Released: Nov. 1, 1999

"Rebellion's no masterpiece but, rather, a bitterly compact (if simplistic) adumbration of Roth's later, infinitely more challenging and rewarding fiction."
Rebellion ($21.95; Nov.; 160 pp.; 0-312-20574-0). Read full book review >