Jenny Erpenbeck (Author) Susan Bernofsky (Translator)


A house on the forested bank of a Brandenburg lake outside Berlin (once belonging to Erpenbeck s grandparents) is the focus of this compact, beautiful novel. Encompassing over one hundred years of German history, from the nineteenth century to the Weimar Republic, from World War II to the Socialist German Democratic Republic, and finally reunification and its aftermath, Visitation offers the life stories of twelve individuals who seek to make their home in this one magical little house. The novel breaks into the everyday life of the house and shimmers through it, while relating the passions and fates of its inhabitants. Elegant and poetic, Visitation forms a literary mosaic of the last century, tearing open wounds and offering moments of reconciliation, with its drama and its exquisite evocation of a landscape no political upheaval can truly change."

Product Details

$15.95  $14.67
New Directions Publishing Corporation
Publish Date
September 30, 2010
5.27 X 0.45 X 7.94 inches | 0.39 pounds
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About the Author

Jenny Erpenbeck was born in East Berlin in 1967. New Directions publishes her books The Old Child & Other Stories, The Book of Words, and Visitation, which NPR called "a story of the century as seen by the objects we've known and lost along the way."
Susan Bernofsky is the acclaimed translator of Hermann Hesse, Robert Walser, and Jenny Erpenbeck, and the recipient of many awards, including the Helen and Kurt Wolff Prize and the Hermann Hesse Translation Prize. She teaches literary translation at Columbia University and lives in New York.


Erpenbeck's voice is fresh and independent and very convincing.--Frederike Knabe
Erpenbeck will get under your skin.
Jenny Erpenbeck's writing is a lure that leads us--off-centre, as one travels into a vortex--into the most haunted and haunting territory. This is a novel of profound clarity and precise grief.--Anne Michaels, Author of Fugitive Pieces
Love, death and passion, from the Weimar Republic to the Fall of the Berlin Wall. Wonderful German prose.
The brutality of her subjects, combined with the fierce intelligence and tenderness at work behind her restrained unvarnished prose, is overwhelming.--Nicole Krauss, author of The History of Love
Jenny Erpenbeck is the rising star of the German literary scene.
Bernofsky's translation vividly captures the rhythm of Erpenbeck's original and allows us to experience this stunning parable of change and brevity in all its beauty and wonder.
Visitation adds to her compact scenarios something intangible and enormous, which works on them from outside their modest frames with a force eroding human history and its claims to establish durable meaning.