(Author) (Translator)

Product Details

$16.95  $15.76
Transit Books
Publish Date
5.2 X 7.8 X 1.2 inches | 0.85 pounds

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About the Author

Iain Galbraith is a widely published translator of German into English. He has translated W. G. Sebald and Jan Wagner, notably. He won the John Dryden Prize for Literary Translation in 2004.


The woman who has fled her own hinterland for the ragged fringe of London discovers a dreamlike city of melancholy magic.--The Economist

"Esther Kinsky's unnamed narrator observes and remembers, piling up beautiful, silt-like layers of description and memory until it becomes difficult to know which is which . . . This is a book to relish."--The Guardian

"The form of River mirrors its content; its consciousness flows with a sense that, like water to the sea, it will one day lose itself."--Times Literary Supplement

"A beautiful exploration of memory's unbreakable bonds with its natural surroundings."--Culture Trip

River is an unusual and stealthy sort of book in that it's the opposite of what it appears to be--which is a rather apt dissimulation, as it turns out. Yes, it rifles through both the rich and rank materials of the world, turning over its trinkets and its tat, in a manner that is initially quite familiar--however, this curious inventory demonstrates an eye for the grotesque and does not hold the world aloft, or in place. Here, details blur boundaries rather than reaffirming them, positing a worldview that is haunted and uncanny. Shifting through unremarkable terrain we encounter the departed, the exiled, the underneath, the other side. We are on firm ground, always; yet whether that ground is here or there, now or then, is, increasingly, a distinction that is difficult and perhaps irrelevant to make. Sea or sky, boy or girl, east or west, king or vagrant, silt or gold; by turns grubby, theatrical, and exquisite, we are closer to the realm of Bakhtin's carnival than we are to the well-trod paths of psychogeography. Kinsky's River does indeed force us to stop in our tracks and take in the opposite side.--Claire-Louise Bennett, author of Pond

Esther Kinsky's novel outshines everything that has recently been published in the German language with patient stamina. It is full of culture without being erudite, it is full of knowledge without being smart-aleck. River is a democratic book, witty, wise and touchingly beautiful.--Katharina Teutsch, Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung

This book is a sensation of language.--Susanne Mayer, Die Zeit

No matter whether Kinsky describes things, foreign people, or landscapes, the surplus love she has at her disposal becomes visible in the sensitive prose in which she sees the world.--Hans-Peter Kunisch, Süddeutsche Zeitung

Brought to life by language that is both precise and multi-layered, River is a magnificent book on the disappearance of landscape.--Le Monde