Wolfgang Koeppen is the most important German novelist of the past seventy years: a radical, not to say terrifying, stylist; a caustic, jet-black comedian; a bitter prophet. His late, autobiographical work--the short, intense autofiction, Youth, translated here for the first time--is a portrait of the little north German town of Greifswald before World War I, and is a miracle of compression: this is not historical fiction, but a kind of personal apocalypse. Also included here, in Michael Hofmann's brilliant translation, is one of Koeppen's very last works: a short, fragmentary text spoken over a 1990 German television program depicting his return visit to the town of his schooldays.
About the Author
Wolfgang Koeppen (1906-1996) is the author of A Sad Affair, Pigeons on the Grass, Death in Rome, The Hothouse, and Journey through America, all of which are available in English translation. He is widely considered the most influential postwar German novelist of his generation.