Homeland | Granta

  • Published: 07/11/2019
  • ISBN: 9781783783533
  • 129x20mm
  • 240 pages


Walter Kempowski

Translated by Charlotte Collins

It is 1988, the year before the Berlin Wall came down. Jonathan Fabrizius, a journalist living in West Germany, is asked to travel to the contested lands of former East Prussia – where the Nazi legacy lives on in buildings and fortifications – to write about the route for a car rally. It’s a plum job, but his interest is piqued by a personal connection. Here, among the refugees fleeing the advancing Russians in 1945, he was born.

Homeland is a nuanced work from one of the great modern European storytellers, in which an everyday German comes face to face with his painful family history, and devastating questions about ordinary Germans’ complicity in the war.

A revelatory odyssey[,] the evidence of the Second World War is all too near the surface physically and psychologically, as German tourists self-consciously adjust their behaviour towards the Poles. Kempowski's artfully naïve style delivers wince-making moments of sly satire... Darkly excellent

David Mills, Sunday Times

A truly remarkable work... The late Walter Kempowski was a master of simple, emotionally charged storytelling, and this polished gem deserves to earn him a large posthumous readership

Max Davidson, Mail on Sunday

Homeland's heart is a pathos-filled black comedy of errors ... this deceptively slight novel's greatest attraction is how its characters live with history as something real, something you can touch

Julian Evans, Daily Telegraph

The Author

Walter Kempowski (1929-2007) was one of Germany’s most important post-war writers, known for his acclaimed collection of first-hand accounts of WWII, including Swansong 1945 (Granta, 2014). His critically applauded final novel, All for Nothing (Granta, 2015) was a bestseller in both Germany and the UK.

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The Translator

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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From the Same Author

Walter Kempowski on Granta.com

Fiction | Granta Books


Walter Kempowski

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