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Books

Go، Went، Gone

Monday 11/June/2018 - 09:38 AM
Book cover
Book cover
Edited by: Yara Sameh

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.

Product details
Paperback: 320 pages
Author: Jenny Erpenbeck
Publisher: New Directions; Reprint edition (September 26، 2017)
Language: English
Dimensions: 5.4 x 0.9 x 8 inches

About the Author
Jenny Erpenbeck was born in East Berlin in 1967. New Directions publishes her books The Old Child & Other Stories، The Book of Words، and Visitation، which NPR called "a story of the century as seen by the objects we've known and lost along the way."
Editorial Reviews
“A retired widower and classics professor takes an interest in African migrants staging a hunger strike in Berlin and finds himself tumbling into a world of harrowing stories and men who share a common sense of loss.”
- Boston Globe

“Brilliantly understated... Erpenbeck's economical prose lends existential significance to the most commonplace conversations، defined less by what they include than by what they omit.”
- Foreign Affairs

“This timely novel brings together a retired classics professor in Berlin and a group of African refugees. The risk of didacticism is high، but the book’s rigor and crystalline insights pay off، aesthetically and morally.”
- The New York Times

“A highly sophisticated work.”
- Kate Web، The Spectator

“Calls to mind J.M. Coetzee، whose flat، affectless prose wrests coherence from immense social turmoil. By making the predicament of the refugee banal and quotidian، Erpenbeck helps it become visible.”
- Sam Sacks، The Wall Street Journal

“The best novel to date about the migration refugee crisis، German novelist Jenny Erpenbeck’s Go، Went، Gone (New Directions) felt both urgent and tender، taking on depicting Europe on the brink of its next profound change―as seen through the eyes of a professor from Berlin’s former East، a man who knows something of what it means to lose one’s place in the world.”
- Megan O'Grady، Vogue

“Erpenbeck’s prose، intense and fluent، is luminously translated by Susan Bernofsky.”
- James Wood، The New Yorker

“Wonderful، elegant، and exhilarating، ferocious as well as virtuosic.”
- Deborah Eisenberg، The New York Review of Books

“This new novel by the author of The End of Days and Visitation is full of departures and disappearances. It is both a gripping story about the life of the modern migrant and a meditation on how we all find meaning in life.”
- The Guardian

“Erpenbeck works with a dramatist’s impulse to extremes and a composer’s ear for the resonant phrase. She can catch a murmur on the air and send it echoing up and down a hundred tormented years. Go، Went، Gone tackles an issue that’s made headlines―namely، the plight of African refugees in Europe. It clearly engaged this author like nothing before. A fresh career benchmark.”
- Bookforum

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