Author(s): Jenny Erpenbeck
The End of Days, a brilliant novel of contingency and fate, by the acclaimed German writer Jenny Erpenbeck, consists essentially of five "books," each leading to a different death of the same unnamed woman 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 twentieth-century Hapsburg Empire. In the next chapter, the same girl grows up in Vienna, but her strange relationship with a boy leads to 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 yet amazing concision, The End of Days offers a unique overview of twentieth-century German and German-Jewish history by "one of the finest, most exciting authors alive" (Michael Faber).
Shortlisted for International Dublin Literary Award 2016.
"Wonderful, elegant and exhilarating, ferocious as well as virtuosic: The End of Days is her most direct address to history." -- Deborah Eisenberg - The New York Review of Books "Dreamlike, almost incantatory prose." -- Vogue "Beautiful and ambitious. Erpenbeck's graceful prose suits the understated tone of this Hans Fallada Prize winner." -- Publishers Weekly, (starred review) "The brutality of her subjects, combined with the fierce intelligence and tenderness at work behind her restrained, unvarnished prose, is overwhelming." -- Nicole Krauss
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." The translator of Yoko Tawada, Franz Kafka, and Robert Walser, among others, Susan Bernofsky is currently working on a biography of Walser.