"The Rings of Saturn" begins as the record of a journey on foot through coastal East Anglia. From Lowestoft to Bungay, Sebald's own story becomes the conductor of evocations of people and cultures past and present: of Chateaubriand, Thomas Browne, Swinburne and Conrad, of fishing fleets, skulls and silkworms. The result is an intricately patterned and haunting book on the transience of all things human.
W.G. Sebald was born in Wertach im Allgau, Germany in 1944. He studied German language and literature in Freiburg, Switzerland and Manchester. In 1966 he took up a position as an assistant lecturer at the University of Manchester, and settled permanently in England in 1970. He was Professor of European Literature at the University of East Anglia, and the author of The Emigrants, which won a series of major awards, including the Berlin Literature Prize, the Heinrich Boll Prize, the Heinrich Heine Prize and the Joseph Breitbach Prize; The Rings of Saturn, and Vertigo. W.G. Sebald wrote in his native tongue, German, and worked closely with his translator, Michael Hulse, to translate his work into English. He died in December 2001. Michael Hulse has translated Goethe's The Sorrows of Young Werther and Jacob Wasserman's Caspar Hauser, as well as the contemporary German authors Luise Rinser, Botho Strauss and Elfriede Jelinek. He is also an award-winning poet. He lives in Amsterdam.