Alfred Doeblin, one of the great figures of German modernism, was born in 1878 to a Jewish family. He moved to Berlin at the age of ten, where he remained for the next 45 years. Doeblin's 1929 masterpiece Berlin Alexanderplatz made him famous, but he was forced to flee to France and then Los Angeles during the years of the Nazi dictatorship. He died in 1957. Michael Hofmann is a poet and translator from the German. For Penguin he has translated four books by Hans Fallada, in addition to works by Franz Kafka, Ernst Junger, Irmgard Keun and Jakob Wassermann.
This new English translation by Michael Hofmann - the first in more than 75 years - expertly captures the fecundity, originality and musicality of Doeblin's masterpiece ... A bold and dazzling collage of a novel * The National * The classic Weimar novel ... Long branded untranslatable, a fluent, pacy new translation by Michael Hofmann gainsays that assumption, opening up the book for English-speakers * Economist * Reading it was the most wonderful experience -- Deborah Moggach * Saturday Review * Berlin Alexanderplatz is Europe's Moby-Dick ... both seriously significant and a great deal of fun -- John Self Franz Biberkopf is one of the modern world's richest literary characters, as memorable as Woyzeck, Oblomov or Madame Bovary * New York Review of Books * A flashing kaleidoscope of a novel ... Michael Hofmann's translation has a vivid immediacy * Country & Town House * Brutal and prophetic ... a turning point in the history of the German novel * The Times *