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The Sleep of the Righteous (Paperback)

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By Wolfgang Hilbig, Isabel Fargo Cole (Translator), Laszlo Krasznahorkai (Introduction by)
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Staff Reviews

This is a true hidden gem. Posthumously translated and published Stateside, Hilbig was an East German writer whose depictions of life in the GDR are perfect examples of desolate, beautiful writing.

— Chris


Doppelgangers, a murderer's guilt, pulp noir, fanatical police, and impossible romancesthese are the pieces from which German master Wolfgang Hilbig builds a divided nation battling its demons. Delving deep into the psyches of both East and West Germany, "The Sleep of the Righteous" reveals a powerful, apocalyptic account of the century-defining nation's trajectory from 1945 to 1989. From a youth in a war-scarred industrial town to wearying labor as a factory stoker, surreal confrontations with the Stasi, and, finally, a conflicted escape to the West, Hilbig creates a cipher that is at once himself and so many of his fellow Germans. Evoking the eerie bleakness of films like Tarkovsky's "Stalker" and "The Lives of Others, " this titan of German letters combines the Romanticism of Poe with the absurdity of Kafka to create a visionary, somber statement on the ravages of history and the promises of the future.

About the Author

Wolfgang Hilbig (19412007) was one of the major German writers to emerge in the postwar era. Though raised in East Germany, he proved so troublesome to the authorities that in 1985 he was granted permission to emigrate west. The author of over 20 books, he received virtually all of Germany s major literary prizes, capped by the 2002 Georg Buchner Prize, Germany s highest literary honor.

Isabel Fargo Cole is a U.S.-born, Berlin-based writer and translator. Her translations include "Boys and Murderers" by Hermann Ungar (Twisted Spoon Press, 2006), "All the Roads Are Open" by Annemarie Schwarzenbach (Seagull Books, 2011) and "The Jew Car" by Franz Fuhmann (Seagull Books, 2013). The recipient of a prestigious PEN/Heim Translation Grant in 2013, she is the initiator and co-editor of, an online magazine for new German literature in English.

Laszlo Krasznahorkai is the recipient of the 2015 International Man Booker Prize. He is the author of "Seiobo There Below, Satantango, The Melancholy of Resistance, " and others. He lives in New York City.

Product Details
ISBN: 9781931883474
ISBN-10: 1931883475
Publisher: Two Lines Press
Publication Date: October 13th, 2015
Pages: 176
Language: English