What I Saw, by Joseph Roth. Granta, £9.99


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The Independent Culture

An ironic, nomadic and prolific novelist of the Habsburg twilight, returned to life for English-language readers in Michael Hofmann’s splendid translations, Roth also worked as a keen-eyed and inquisitive journalist.

From cafés to parks to stores, from the races to the movies, these reports from Weimar-era Berlin capture in his diamond glitter of prose the booming but brash capital, “so heartless in its bustle”. A companion volume, The White Cities, collects his (sometimes) gentler and more serene despatches from France, his place of refuge after 1933.