The String Of Pearls | Granta

  • Published: 23/04/1999
  • ISBN: 9781862072541
  • 130x20mm
  • 272 pages

The String Of Pearls

Joseph Roth

Translated by Michael Hofmann

While visiting Vienna, the Shah of Persia falls for a beautiful countess. The Austrian officials arrange for him to spend the night with the “countess”, but unbeknown to the Shah she is a prostitute who merely resembles the countess. From this night follows a chain of ruinous consequences.

In brief, artless, glittering scenes that burnish images of Vienna and its loveless and unloving citizens, the novel sketches the decline and decay of an empire.. with such sparkling subtlety that you scarcely notice how lightly the story carries the freight of history.

Sunday Telegraph

A dazzling evocation of old Vienna

Good Book Guide

There won't be a better book this year

The Times

The Author

Joseph Roth (1894-1939) was the great elegist of the cosmopolitan, tolerant and doomed Central European culture that flourished in the dying days of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. Born into a Jewish family in Galicia, on the eastern edge of the empire, he was a prolific political journalist and novelist. On Hitler’s assumption of power, he was obliged to leave Germany for Paris, where he died in poverty a few years later. His books include What I Saw, Job, The White Cities, The String of Pearls, The Emperor’s Tomb and The Radetzky March, all published by Granta Books.

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The Translator

Michael Hofmann is a poet, translator and critic. His latest book of poems is One Lark, One Horse. He recently translated Jenny Erpenbeck’s novel Kairos.

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From the Same Author

Joseph Roth on

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