The End of Days | Granta

  • Published: 28/05/2015
  • ISBN: 9781846275159
  • 129x20mm
  • 192 pages

The End of Days

Jenny Erpenbeck

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

Chloe Aridjis

The Author

Jenny Erpenbeck is the author of Go, Went, Gone and The End of Days, which received the 2015 Independent Foreign Fiction Prize. Her collection of essays Not a Novel, translated from the German by Kurt Beals, will be published by Granta Books.

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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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From the Same Author

Jenny Erpenbeck on Granta.com

Essays & Memoir | Granta 152

Open Bookkeeping

Jenny Erpenbeck

‘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.