Penguin Modern Classics, £9.99
Book review: My First Wife, By Jakob Wassermann
Arifa Akbar is literary editor of The Independent and i newspapers. She has worked at The Independent since 2001 as a news reporter and arts correspondent before joining the books desk in 2009. She was a judge for the Orwell Prize for books 2013, and the Fiction Uncovered Prize 2014, and is currently judging the Aesthetica Magazine new writing prize.
Friday 27 September 2013
Herzog, a young writer, is struggling to fend off poverty when Ganna Mevis, the youngest of six daughters in a well-heeled family, begins her pursuit of him, groupie-like and ardent.
He senses trouble but a marriage is made, with Herzog compromising on love in order to achieve financial security. The rest of this gripping, autobiographical story is filled with infidelity, divorce and post-marital rage.
Translated by Michael Hofmann, it is suprisingly modern in its depiction of the emotioanl trauma of a bad marriage.
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