What I Saw, by Joseph Roth. Granta, £9.99
Boyd Tonkin is Literary Editor at The Independent. An award-winning journalist, he was formerly Social Policy Editor of the New Statesman and has broadcast extensively for BBC arts and current affairs programmes. He has judged the Booker Prize, the Whitbread biography award, the Commonwealth Writers Prize and the David Cohen Prize for a lifetime's achievement in literature.
Saturday 07 September 2013
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.
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