Pigeons on the Grass


Product Details

New Directions Publishing Corporation
Publish Date
5.1 X 8.0 X 0.7 inches | 0.55 pounds

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About the Author

Wolfgang Koeppen (1906-1996) was born in Greifswald and died in Munich. He worked as a commis chef, a dramaturge, and an editor. In 1951, 1953 and 1954 three novels were published to high acclaim for accurately capturing the atmosphere of the republic under Konrad Adenauer: Pigeons on the Grass, The Hothouse, and Death In Rome.
Michael Hofmann is a poet and frequent contributor to The New York Times Book Review, and is widely regarded as one of the world's foremost translators of works from German to English. His original poetry collections include One Lark, One Horse and Where Have You Been? He has translated Willy Peter Reese's A Stranger to Myself, Joseph Roth's The Tale of the 1002nd Night, Herta Muller's The Land of the Green Plums, and Gottfried Benn's Impromptus. Hofman lives in London.


There are rare writers who inform and enthrall, even terrify. The gifted German enigma Wolfgang Koeppen (1906-1990) is one such witness: candid and strange, allusive, unsettling. Time and again Koeppen stage-manages an unforgettable scene.
Almost eerily contemporary in its concerns, and remarkable as a sidelong, searing appraisal of the legacy of the Nazi years, it is a recovered masterpiece.
Koeppen's voice--cold, defiant and relentless in its fury at the deadly amnesia he saw emerge from Germany's ruins after World War II--neither transforms nor imbues the world around him, but rather indicts it.--Peter Filkins
Those who haven't read this novel cannot claim to know German literature after 1945.--Marcel Reich-Ranicki
Among the earliest, grandest, and most poetically satisfying reckonings in fiction with the postwar state of the world.--Michael Hofmann