Kurt Beals

Kurt Beals is an associate professor in the Department of Germanic Languages and Literatures at Washington University in St Louis. He has previously translated books by Anja Utler, Regina Ullmann, and Reiner Stach.

Not a Novel

by Jenny Erpenbeck

Translated from the German by Kurt Beals

Jenny Erpenbeck’s highly acclaimed novel Go, Went, Gone was a New York Times notable book and launched one of Germany’s most admired writers into the American spotlight. In the New Yorker, James Wood wrote: “When Erpenbeck wins the Nobel Prize in a few years, I suspect that this novel will be cited.” On the heels of this literary breakthrough comes Not a Novel, a book of personal, profound, often humorous meditations and reflections.…
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Is That Kafka?

Literature by Reiner Stach

Translated from the German by Kurt Beals

In the course of compiling his highly acclaimed three-volume biography of Kafka, while foraying to libraries and archives from Prague to Israel, Reiner Stach made one astounding discovery after another: unexpected photographs, inconsistencies in handwritten texts, excerpts from letters, and testimonies from Kafka’s contemporaries that shed surprising light on his personality and his writing. Is that Kafka? presents the crystal granules of the real Kafka: he couldn’t lie, but he tried to cheat on his high-school exams; bitten by the fitness fad, he avidly followed the regime of a Danish exercise guru; he drew beautifully; he loved beer; he read biographies voraciously; he made the most beautiful presents, especially for children; odd things made him cry or made him furious; he adored slapstick.…
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The Country Road

by Regina Ullmann

Translated from the German by Kurt Beals

Resonant of nineteenth-century village tales and of such authors as Adalbert Stifter and her contemporary Robert Walser, the stories in The Country Road are largely set in the Swiss countryside. In these tales, the archaic and the modern collide. In one story, a young woman on an exhausting country walk recoils at a passing bicyclist but accepts a ride from a wagon, taking her seat on a trunk with a snake coiled inside.…
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