The winner of numerous literary awards including the Anne Frank Prize and Goethe Prize, Cees Nooteboom, novelist, poet and journalist, “is a careful prose stylist of a notably philosophical bent.” (J.M. Coetzee, The New York Review of Books)
In Roads to Berlin, Nooteboom’s reportage, “from a 1963 Khrushchev rally in East Berlin to the tearing down of the Palast der Republik, brilliantly captures the intensity of the capital and its ‘associated layers of memory,’” The Economist said. The book maps the changing landscape of post-World-War-II Germany, from the period before the fall of the Berlin Wall to the present. Written and updated over the course of several decades, an eyewitness account of the pivotal events of 1989 gives way to a perceptive appreciation of its difficult passage to reunification. Nooteboom’s writings on politics, people, architecture, and culture are as digressive as they are eloquent; his innate curiosity takes him through the landscapes of Heine and Goethe, steeped in Romanticism and mythology, and to Germany’s baroque cities. With an outsider’s objectivity he has crafted an intimate portrait of the country to its present day.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Cees Nooteboom was born in The Hague in 1933, and now lives in Amsterdam and on the island of Minorca. He is a poet, a novelist, and a travel writer whose books include Rituals (1983), The Following Story (1994), Roads to Santiago (1997) and All Souls’ Day (2001) and The Foxes Come at Night (2011).
ABOUT THE TRANSLATOR
Laura Watkinson translates from Dutch, Italian and German. She lives in Amsterdam and in 2008 founded the Dutch chapter of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators.
"More than a reporter, more even than a traveler, Nooteboom is a poet. His writing is lyrical and densely textured. He is a poet of time and memory." —Colin Thubron, The New York Review of Books
"[A] deeply philosophical blend of reportage, history, and memoir, capturing the psyche of a people living in the shadow of a wall and of their own past."—The New Yorker
"It is a wonderful voyage of self-discovery, and a psychological exploration of a nation in turmoil.” —Quentin Peel, The Financial Times
"A uniquely meditative and poetic study of Germany."—Colin Thubron, The Guardian. ("The Observer's books of the year")
"To read Nooteboom is to be introduced to a delicious European sensibility: cultured, erudite, lyrical, searching for answers."—The Guardian
“[Roads to Berlin is] “written with the accuracy of a historian and the imagination of a poet. Beautifully translated, too.” — Brandon Ronshaw, The Independent
“An exciting account . . . Nooteboom wears his erudition lightly, and weaves personal anecdote into memorable reportage.” —Ian Thomson, The Sunday Telegraph
“[Nooteboom] brilliantly captures the intensity of the capital and its associated layers of memory. . . . He writes in a voice that blends the acuity of Martha Gellhorn with the meditative grace of W.G. Sebald.” —The Economist
"The book is cleverly written as a history and travel guide which reads like a novel, a unique, one-of-a-kind armchair travel experience you will find fascinating. . . . A most interesting, informative read that will delight any history or travel buff."—www.RealTravelAdventures.com
"Nooteboom is one of the greatest modern novelists." —A.S. Byatt
"Nooteboom understands well the German national character." —Die Zeit
"A fascinating personal chronicle." —Der Tagesspiegel
From the Hardcover edition.
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