The End of Days (Paperback)
How could it have all gone differently? In each of the five intermezzos punctuating this novel, award-winning German novelist, Jenny Erpenbeck, asks the reader to re-imagine the ending of a woman's life. The result is a beautiful, inventive novel about fate and contingency, as well as a unique chronicling of twentieth-century Europe. One of my favorite books of the year.— Erin
Winner of the Independent Foreign Fiction Prize and the Hans Fallada Prize, The End of Days, by the acclaimed German writer Jenny Erpenbeck, consists essentially of five "books," each leading to a different death of the same unnamed female protagonist. How could it all have gone differently?--the narrator asks in the intermezzos. The first chapter begins with the death of a baby in the early twentieth-century Hapsburg Empire. In the next chapter, the same girl grows up in Vienna after World War I, but a pact she makes with a young man leads to a second death. In the next scenario, she survives adolescence and moves to Russia with her husband. Both are dedicated Communists, yet our heroine ends up in a labor camp. But her fate does not end there....
A novel of incredible breadth and amazing concision, The End of Days offers a unique overview of the twentieth century.