Joseph Roth's tale of an alcoholic vagrant who has a series of lucky breaks that lift him briefly onto a different plane of existence
Joseph Roth (1894-1939) was the great elegist of the cosmopolitan, tolerant and doomed Central European culture that flourished in the dying days of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. Born into a Jewish family in Galicia, on the eastern edge of the empire, he was a prolific political journalist and novelist. On Hitler's assumption of power, he was obliged to leave Germany for Paris, where he later died in poverty. His books include What I Saw, Job, The White Cities, The String of Pearls and The Radetzky March, all published by Granta Books. Michael Hofmann is the highly acclaimed translator of Joseph Roth, Wolfgang Koeppen, Kafka, and Brecht and the author of several books of poems and book of criticism. He has translated nine previous books by Joseph Roth. He teaches at the University of Florida in Gainesville.