- Published: 28/05/2015
- ISBN: 9781846275159
- 192 pages
The End of Days
Translated by Susan Bernofsky
Winner of the 2015 Independent Foreign Fiction Prize
From one of the most daring voices in European fiction, this is a story of the twentieth century traced through the various possible lives of one woman. She is a baby who barely suffocates in the cradle. Or perhaps not? She lives to become as an adult and dies beloved. Or dies betrayed. Or perhaps not? Her memory is honoured. Or she is forgotten by everyone. Moving from a small Galician town at the turn of the century, through pre-war Vienna and Stalin’s Moscow to present-day Berlin, Jenny Erpenbeck homes in on the moments when life follows a particular branch and ‘fate’ suddenly emerges from the sly interplay between history, character and pure chance.
The End of Days is a novel that pulls apart the threads of destiny and allows us to see the present and the past anew.
[An] absolute must-read. It has stunned and moved everyone who has read it
Arifa Akbar, Independent
A short, musical novel... philosophically and technically ambitious... shot through with an insight that almost blinds... Erpenbeck's Chekhovian talent for letting us into the shifting consciousness of her characters' various incarnations is such that with each death our loss feels definitive. But while in Chekhov there are no exits from personality, here there are no exits from history... Reading Erpenbeck is like falling under hypnosis. Exhilarating
Kapka Kassabova, Guardian
Always startling and profound, Jenny Erpenbeck is a master of allegory. Few contemporary writers can so deftly paint the moral interplay between light and shadow
From the Same Author
Not a Novel
Go, Went, Gone
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.