Homeland | Walter Kempowski | Granta Magazine and Granta Books

Homeland

Walter Kempowski

Translated by Charlotte Collins

‘I was suckled by Mother Earth, he would reflect on occasion, and he would stretch, feeling new strength in his veins.’

Walter Kempowski

Walter Kempowski (1929-2007) was one of Germany's most important post-war writers. He settled after the war in Hamburg, but on returning to his home town of Rostock in the late 1940s he was sentenced to 25 years in prison for espionage by a Soviet military tribunal, of which he served eight years, in Bautzen. His first success as an author was the autobiographic novel Tadellöser & Wolff (1971) part of his acclaimed series of novels German Chronicles. In the 1980s he began work on an immense project, Echo Soundings, gathering together first hand accounts, diaries, letters and memoirs of the second world war, which he collated and curated into ten volumes published over 20 years, and which is considered a modern classic. Swansong 1945, published in Germany in 2005, and translated into English here for the first time, is the final volume of that work.

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Translated by Charlotte Collins

Charlotte Collins is the co-chair of the UK Translators Association and a literary translator from the German. Her translation of Robert Seethaler’s A Whole Life was shortlisted for the 2016 Man Booker International Prize. Her co-translation, with Ruth Martin, of The Eighth Life by Nino Haratischvili will be published by Scribe UK in November 2019. Homeland by Walter Kempowski is available now.

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