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A masterpiece by a writer long neglected in America, "The Hothouse" created a literary stir when it appeared in hardcover. Evoking comparisons to works by James Joyce and Malcolm Lowry, it traces the final two days in the life of a minor German politician, Keetenheuve, a man disillusioned by the corruption of post-World War II German politics and grieving after the sudden death of his wife. With a passionate, despairing voice, Wolfgang Koeppen (1906-1996), whom Gunter Grass once called the "greatest living German writer," creates a portrait of idealism crushed by political and personal compromise.