'Many years ago there lived in Zuchnow, in Russia, a man named Mendel Signer. He was pious, God-fearing and ordinary, an entirely commonplace Jew...' So Roth begins his novel about the loss of faith and the experience of suffering. His modern Job goes through his trials in the ghettos of Tsarist Russia and on the unforgiving streets of New York. Mendel Singer loses his family, falls terribly ill and is badly abused. He needs a miracle...
JOSEPH ROTH (1894-1939) was the great elegist of the cosmopolitan, tolerant and doomed Central European culture that flourished in the dying days of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. Born into a Jewish family in Galicia, on the eastern edge of the empire, he was a prolific political journalist and novelist. On Hitler's assumption of power, he was obliged to leave Germany for Paris, where he died in poverty a few years later. His books include What I Saw, Job, The White Cities, The String of Pearls and The Radetzky March, all published by Granta Books. MICHAEL HOFMANN is the highly acclaimed translator of Joseph Roth, Wolfgang Koeppen, Kafka and Brecht, and the author of several books of poems and book of criticism. He has translated nine previous books by Joseph Roth. He teaches at the University of Florida in Gainesville.
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