- Published: 02/08/2018
- ISBN: 9781846276224
- 304 pages
Go, Went, Gone
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.
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
From the Same Author
Not a Novel
The End of Days
Jenny Erpenbeck on Granta.com
Essays & Memoir | Granta 152
‘I write an obituary that appears in the newspaper that she always used to read while drinking her afternoon tea. I receive €170.03 for the obituary.’
Translated from the German by Kurt Beals.