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Summer before the Dark, by Volker Weidermann, translated by Carol Brown Janeway

This was an outstanding read which introduced me to Irmgard Keun. I think Weidermann has just written another book which I do hope will be translated- also literary history.

ANZ LitLovers LitBlog

It is the fate of too many of my Kindle editions that, without a physical presence on my shelves, I forget all about them.  Back in 2017 after reading Stu’s review at Winston’s Dad, I bought a Kindle edition of Summer Before the Dark with plans to read it for German Lit Week, but it never happened.  What I’ve just finished reading today is the Pushkin Press edition from the library, though the cover art is by Richard Bravery; it’s not the one with the gorgeous ‘railway poster art’ cover that Stu read.

Stu was right: this is the story of writers as ordinary people slowly waking to what was happening back home as the Nazis tightened their grip on power. The novella is set in Ostend, 1936, and the subtitle of the German edition is ‘summer of friendship’.  Years before, the impoverished but ambitious Joseph Roth had made…

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By penwithlit

Freelance writer and radio presenter

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