Jenny Erpenbeck

Jenny Erpenbeck was born in East Berlin in 1967. She is the author of several works of fiction, including The Book of Words (2007) and Visitation (2010), both translated by Susan Bernofsky and published by New Directions. The End of Days won the prestigious Hans Fallada Prize and the International Foreign Fiction Prize. Erpenbeck lives in Berlin.

Go, Went, Gone

Fiction by Jenny Erpenbeck

Translated from the German by Susan Bernofsky

Go, Went, Gone is the masterful new novel by the acclaimed German writer Jenny Erpenbeck, “one of the most significant German-language novelists of her generation” (The Millions). The novel tells the tale of Richard, a retired classics professor who lives in Berlin. His wife has died, and he lives a routine existence until one day he spies some African refugees staging a hunger strike in Alexanderplatz. Curiosity turns into compassion and an inner transformation as he visits their shelter, interviews them, and becomes embroiled in their harrowing fates.…
More Information

The End of Days

Fiction by Jenny Erpenbeck

Translated from the German by Susan Bernofsky

Winner of the Independent Foreign Fiction Prize and the Hans Fallada Prize, The End of Days, by the acclaimed German writer Jenny Erpenbeck, consists essentially of five “books,” each leading to a different death of the same unnamed female protagonist. How could it all have gone differently?—the narrator asks in the intermezzos. The first chapter begins with the death of a baby in the early twentieth-century Hapsburg Empire. In the next chapter, the same girl grows up in Vienna after World War I, but a pact she makes with a young man leads to a second death.…
More Information

Visitation

Fiction by Jenny Erpenbeck

Translated from the German by Susan Bernofsky

A forested property on a Brandenburg lake outside Berlin lies at the heart of this darkly sensual, elegiac novel. Visitation offers us the stories of twelve individuals who make their home here. The narrative weaves in and out of history and time, shimmering through the public and secret spaces of a magical little house and showing us the passions and fates of its inhabitants. Elegant and poetic, Visitation presents a literary mosaic of the last century in Germany, tearing open wounds and offering moments of reconciliation with its dramatic stories and its exquisite evocation of a landscape no political upheaval can truly change.…
More Information

The Book of Words

Fiction by Jenny Erpenbeck

Translated by Susan Bernofsky

In The Book of Words, Jenny Erpenbeck captures with amazing virtuosity the inner life of a young girl who survives the totalitarian regime of a curiously unnamed South American country (most likely Argentina during its “dirty war”). Raised by parents whose real identity ends up shocking her, the girl comes of age in a country where gunshots are mistaken for blown tires, innocent citizens are dragged off buses, and tortured and disappeared friends and family return to visit her from the dead.…
More Information

The Old Child & Other Stories

Fiction by Jenny Erpenbeck

Translated from the German by Susan Bernofsky

The Old Child & Other Stories introduces in English one of Germany’s most original and brilliant young authors, Jenny Erpenbeck. Written in spare, highly concentrated language, “a sustained feat of verbal economy” (Die Zeit), the one novella and four stories in The Old Child go beyond the limits of the expected, the real. Dark, serious, often mystical, these marvelous fictions about women’s lives provide glimpses into the minds of outcasts and eccentrics, at the same time bearing out Dostoevsky’s comment that hope can be found so long as a man can see even a tiny view of the sky.…
More Information

Erpenbeck’s prose, intense and fluent, is luminously translated by Susan Bernofsky.

—James Wood, The New Yorker

Erpenbeck’s metaphysical fictions are strange and beautiful, stern and compelling. This devastating work is as light as a dream and as unrelenting as real life. […] No reader can feel untouched by Erpenbeck’s inspired, and inspiring, vision.

—Eileen Battersby, The Irish Times

This slim novel packs a mighty punch and richly deserves its numerous accolades.

—Lucy Popescu, The Huffington Post

The End of Days is a brilliant study of loss and mourning. … Erpenbeck’s novel chronicles the twentieth century in a way that other Familienromane do not.

—Necia Chronister, World Literature Today

Erpenbeck will get under your skin.

Washington Post Book World

One of the most significant German-language novelists of her generation, Erpenbeck follows up the celebrated novel Visitation with a heady conceit located somewhere between Cloud Atlas and Groundhog Day

The Millions

Erpenbeck’s writing is a lure that leads us–off-centre, as into a vortex–into the most haunted and haunting territory.

—Anne Michaels

Dreamlike, almost incantatory prose.

Vogue

The brutality of her subjects, combined with the fierce intelligence and tenderness at work behind her restrained, unvarnished prose, is overwhelming.

—Nicole Krauss

A true miniaturist.

—Jenny Hendrix, Bookforum

Visitation adds to her compact scenarios something intangible and enormous, which works on them from outside their modest frames with a force eroding human history and its claims to establish durable meaning.

The Nation

Erpenbeck will get under your skin.

Washington Post Book World

Jenny Erpenbeck is the rising star of the German literary scene.

Cosmopolitan
< Lawrence Ferlinghetti Yoel Hoffmann >