The Book Beat Reading Group selection for May is The Emigrants by W.G. Sebald. The Reading Group will meet on Wednesday, May 25 at 7:00pm in the Goldfish Tearoom (117 W 4th St #101, Royal Oak, MI 48067). Reading Group selections are discounted 15% at Book Beat. All are welcome!
“One of the best novels to appear since World War II.” –Review of Contemporary Fiction
The Emigrants is composed of four long narratives which at first appear to be the straightforward accounts of the lives of several Jewish exiles in England, Austria, and America. The narrator literally follows their footsteps, studding each story with photographs and creating the impression that the reader is poring over a family album. But gradually, Sebald’s prose, which combines documentary description with almost hallucinatory fiction, exerts a new magic, and the four stories merge into one. Illustrated throughout with enigmatic photographs. Winner of the Berlin Literature Prize.
“A profound and original work of fiction, ”The Emigrants” pursues the stories of four people as they move from land to land — and, above all, as they move through history. In tracing these wanderings, W. G. Sebald has created an end-of-century meditation that explores the most delicate, most painful, most nervously repressed and carefully concealed lesions of the last hundred years.” –NY Times review
“A masterpiece.”- Richard Eder, The New York Times
Read the 2011 New Yorker article: “Why You Should Read WG Sebald” here
“IS LITERARY GREATNESS still possible? Given the implacable devolution of literary ambition, and the concurrent ascendancy of the tepid, the glib, and the senselessly cruel as normative fictional subjects, what would a noble literary enterprise look like now? One of the few answers available to English-language readers is the work of W. G. Sebald.”
—Susan Sontag on W.G. Sebald
W.G. Sebald was a German-English novelist and scholar who was known for his haunting, nonchronologically constructed stories. Sebald’s work imaginatively explored themes of memory as they related to the Holocaust. His novels include: Vertigo, The Emigrants, The Rings of Saturn, A Place in the Country, and Austerlitz. Sebald was frequently cited as one of the greatest living contemporary authors. He died in 2001.