Go, Went, Gone | Granta

Go, Went, Gone

Jenny Erpenbeck

Translated by Susan Bernofsky

One of the great contemporary European writers takes on Europe’s biggest issue

Richard has spent his life as a university professor, immersed in the world of books and ideas, but now he is retired, his books remain in their packing boxes and he steps into the streets of his city, Berlin. Here, on Oranienplatz, he discovers a new community — a tent city, established by African asylum seekers. Hesitantly, getting to know the new arrivals, Richard finds his life changing, as he begins to question his own sense of belonging in a city that once divided its citizens into them and us.

At once a passionate contribution to the debate on race, privilege and nationality and a beautifully written examination of an ageing man’s quest to find meaning in his life, Go, Went, Gone showcases one of the great contemporary European writers at the height of her powers.

  • Published: 02/08/2018
  • Paperback
  • ISBN: 9781846276224
  • 129x20mm, 304 pages

Erpenbeck is becoming one of Europe's most highly regarded writers, perpetually striving to create an artistic prism through which to interpret history's arc... Superbly translated by her usual collaborator Susan Bernofsky [...] there is a melancholic undertone to the novel, murmuring beneath its condensed, liquid prose. Deceptively unhurried, yet undeniably urgent, this is Erpenbeck's most significant work to date

Catherine Taylor, Financial Times

Europe's outstanding literary seer, Jenny Erpenbeck's new novel resonates with an unexpected simplicity that is profound, unsettling and subtle. Astutely translated by Susan Bernofsky [...] Erpenbeck's powerful tale, delivered in a wonderfully plain, candid tone, is both real and true. It will alert readers, make us more aware and, it is to be hoped, more human

Eileen Battersby, Guardian

A remarkable novel which questions our understanding of borders and identity and which calls above all for compassion

Annie Rutherford, Skinny

The Author

Jenny Erpenbeck is the author of The Old Child & The Book of Words (2008), Visitation (2010) and The End of Days (2014, winner of the Independent Foreign Fiction Prize), and Go, Went, Gone (2017). Her fiction has been translated into over 30 languages.

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The Translator

SUSAN BERNOFSKY has translated works by Robert Walser, Hermann Hesse, Gregor von Rezzori, Yoko Tawada, Ludwig Harig and Franz Kafka. She is the author of Foreign Words: Translator-Authors in the Age of Goethe and is currently at work on a biography of Robert Walser. Her translation of The Old Child and Other Stories was awarded the 2006 Helen and Kurt Wolff Translator’s Prize.

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