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The End of Days

1 rating

Summary

Winner of the Independent Foreign Fiction Prize and the Hans Fallada Prize, The End of Days, by the acclaimed German writer Jenny Erpenbeck, consists essentially of five "books", each leading to a different death of the same unnamed female protagonist. "How could it all have gone differently?" the narrator asks in the intermezzos. The first chapter begins with the death of a baby in the early 20th-century Hapsburg Empire. In the next chapter, the same girl grows up in Vienna after World War I, but a pact she makes with a young man leads to a second death. In the next scenario, she survives adolescence and moves to Russia with her husband. Both are dedicated Communists, yet our heroine ends up in a labor camp. But her fate does not end there.... A novel of incredible breadth and amazing concision, The End of Days offers a unique overview of the 20th century.

©2012, 2014 Albrecht Knaus Verlag, a division of Verlagsgruppe Random House GmbH, München, Germany. Translation copyright by Susan Bernofsky (P)2019 New Directions Publishing Corp.

Narrator: Lisa Flanagan
Length: 7 hrs and 28 mins
Available on Audible
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Go, Went, Gone

1 rating

Summary

New York Times Notable Book2018; Foreign Affairs Best Book of 2018; Lois Roth Award Winner An unforgettable German bestseller about the European refugee crisis: “Erpenbeck will get under your skin” (Washington Post Book World) Go, Went, Gone is the masterful new novel by the acclaimed German writer Jenny Erpenbeck, “one of the most significant German-language novelists of her generation” (The Millions). The novel tells the tale of Richard, a retired classics professor who lives in Berlin. His wife has died, and he lives a routine existence until one day he spies some African refugees staging a hunger strike in Alexanderplatz. Curiosity turns to compassion and an inner transformation, as he visits their shelter, interviews them, and becomes embroiled in their harrowing fates. Go, Went, Gone is a scathing indictment of Western policy toward the European refugee crisis, but also a touching portrait of a man who finds he has more in common with the Africans than he realizes. Exquisitely translated by Susan Bernofsky, Go, Went, Gone addresses one of the most pivotal issues of our time, facing it head-on in a voice that is both nostalgic and frightening.

©2017 Albrecht Knaus Verlag, A Division of Verlagsgruppe Random House Gmb H; Translation Copyright by Susan Bernofsky (P)2019 New Directions Publishing Corporation

Narrator: Lisa Flanagan
Length: 9 hrs and 49 mins
Available on Audible
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Visitation

Summary

A best seller in Germany, Visitation has established Jenny Erpenbeck as one of Europe’s most significant contemporary authors. A forested property on a Brandenburg lake outside Berlin lies at the heart of this darkly sensual, elegiac novel. Encompassing over 100 years of German history, from the 19th century to the Weimar Republic, from World War II to the Socialist German Democratic Republic, and finally reunification and its aftermath, Visitation offers the life stories of 12 individuals who seek to make their home in this one magical little house. The novel breaks into the everyday life of the house and shimmers through it, while relating the passions and fates of its inhabitants. Elegant and poetic, Visitation forms a literary mosaic of the last century, tearing open wounds and offering moments of reconciliation, with its drama and its exquisite evocation of a landscape no political upheaval can truly change.

©2008, 2010 Eichborn AG, Frankfurt am Main. Translation copyright Susan Bernofsky (P)2019 New Directions Publishing Corp.

Narrator: Lisa Flanagan
Length: 5 hrs and 9 mins
Available on Audible
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Not a Novel

Summary

Jenny Erpenbeck’s highly acclaimed novel Go, Went, Gone was a New York Times notable book and launched one of Germany’s most admired writers into the American spotlight. In the New Yorker, James Wood wrote: “When Erpenbeck wins the Nobel Prize in a few years, I suspect that this novel will be cited.” On the heels of this literary breakthrough comes Not a Novel, a book of personal, profound, often humorous meditations and reflections. Erpenbeck writes, “With this collection of texts, I am looking back for the first time at many years of my life, at the thoughts that filled my life from day to day.” Starting with her childhood days in East Berlin (“I start with my life as a schoolgirl.... My own conscious life begins at the same time as the socialist life of Leipziger Strasse”), Not a Novel provides a glimpse of growing up in the GDR and of what it was like to be 22 when the wall collapsed; it takes us through Erpenbeck’s early adult years, working in a bakery after immersing herself in the worlds of music, theater, and opera, and ultimately discovering her path as a writer. There are lively essays about her literary influences (Thomas Bernhard, the Brothers Grimm, Kafka, and Thomas Mann), unforgettable reflections on the forces at work in her novels (including history, silence, and time), and scathing commentaries on the dire situation of America and Europe today. “Why do we still hear laments for the Germans who died attempting to flee over the wall, but almost none for the countless refugees who have drowned in the Mediterranean in recent years, turning the sea into a giant grave?” With deep insight and warm intelligence, Jenny Erpenbeck provides us with a collection of unforgettable essays that take us into the heart and mind of “one of the finest and most exciting writers alive” (Michel Faber).

©2019, 2020 Jenny Erpenbeck. Translation copyright by Kurt Beals. (P)2020 New Directions Publishing Corp.

Narrator: Lisa Flanagan
Length: 5 hrs and 59 mins
Available on Audible
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Heimsuchung

Summary

Die Autorin liest ihre Geschichte: von einem Haus am See - und wie ein ganzes Jahrhundert in ihm wütet. Ein Haus an einem märkischen See: Es ist der Schauplatz für fünfzehn Lebensläufe, Geschichten, Schicksale von den Zwanzigerjahren bis heute. Das Haus und seine Bewohner erleben die Weimarer Republik, das Dritte Reich, den Krieg und dessen Ende, die DDR, die Wende und die Zeit der Nachwende. Jedem einzelnen Schicksal gibt Jenny Erpenbeck eine eigene literarische Form, jedes entfaltet auf ganz eigene Weise seine Dramatik, seine Tragik, sein Glück. Alle zusammen bilden ein Panorama des letzten Jahrhunderts, das verstört, beglückt, verunsichert und versöhnt. Die Autorin Jenny Erpenbeck liest ihren eindrucksvollen, poetisch verdichteten Roman selbst - ein Hörerlebnis höchster Intensität.

©2007 Eichborn AG, Frankfurt am Main (P)2016 Der Hörverlag

Narrator: Jenny Erpenbeck
Length: 5 hrs and 16 mins
Available on Audible
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Gehen, ging, gegangen

Summary

Wie erträgt man das Vergehen der Zeit, wenn man zur Untätigkeit gezwungen ist? Wie geht man um mit dem Verlust derer, die man geliebt hat? Wer trägt das Erbe weiter?

Richard, emeritierter Professor, kommt durch die zufällige Begegnung mit den Asylsuchenden auf dem Oranienplatz auf die Idee, die Antworten auf seine Fragen dort zu suchen, wo sonst niemand sie sucht: Bei jenen jungen Flüchtlingen aus Afrika, die in Berlin gestrandet und seit Jahren zum Warten verurteilt sind. Und plötzlich schaut diese Welt ihn an, den Bewohner des alten Europas, und weiß womöglich besser als er selbst, wer er eigentlich ist.

Jenny Erpenbeck erzählt auf ihre unnachahmliche Weise eine Geschichte vom Wegsehen und Hinsehen, von Tod und Krieg, vom ewigen Warten und von all dem, was unter der Oberfläche verborgen liegt.

©2015 Knaus Verlag, München (P)2015 Hörbuch Hamburg HHV GmbH, Hamburg

Narrator: Friedhelm Ptok
Length: 10 hrs and 8 mins
Available on Audible
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Aller Tage Abend

Summary

Wie lang wird das Leben des Kindes sein, das gerade geboren wird? Wer sind wir, wenn uns die Stunde schlägt? Wer wird um uns trauern? Jenny Erpenbeck nimmt uns mit auf ihrer Reise durch die vielen Leben, die in einem Leben enthalten sein können. Von einer galizischen Kleinstadt um 1900 spannt sie dabei den Bogen über Wien und das stalinistische Moskau bis ins Berlin der Gegenwart. Meisterhaft und lebendig erzählt Erpenbeck, wie sich das, was wir "Schicksal" nennen, als ein unfassbares Zusammenspiel von Kultur- und Zeitgeschichte, von familiären und persönlichen Verstrickungen erweist.

©2012 Knaus in der Verlagsgruppe Random House GmbH, München (P)2012 Hessischer Rundfunk/Der Hörverlag

Narrator: Jenny Erpenbeck
Length: 7 hrs and 58 mins
Available on Audible