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The End of Days


Winner of the Independent Foreign Fiction Prize for the best translated novel of 2014

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 twentieth-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 twentieth century.

"Words and stories and memory are the vehicle by which the reader moves, intoxicatingly and fearlessly, through a dizzying but magnificent series of terrains."
― Michele Filgate, The Boston Globe

"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

"One of the finest, most exciting authors alive."
― Michael Faber

"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

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