Best Selling Books in World Literature - German

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release date: Dec 31, 2002
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Siddhartha (Penguin Classics Deluxe Edition)
A bold translation of Nobel Prize-winner Herman Hesse's most inspirational and beloved work in a Penguin Classics deluxe edition. Nominated as one of America’s best-loved novels by PBS’s The Great American Read

Hesse's famous and influential novel, Siddartha, is perhaps the most important and compelling moral allegory our troubled century has produced. Integrating Eastern and Western spiritual traditions with psychoanalysis and philosophy, this strangely simple tale, written with a deep and moving empathy for humanity, has touched the lives of millions since its original publication in 1922. Set in India, Siddhartha is the story of a young Brahmin's search for ultimate reality after meeting with the Buddha. His quest takes him from a life of decadence to asceticism, through the illusory joys of sensual love with a beautiful courtesan, and of wealth and fame, to the painful struggles with his son and the ultimate wisdom of renunciation. This new translation by award-winning translator Joachim Neugroschel includes an introduction by Hesse biographer Ralph Freedman.

For more than seventy years, Penguin has been the leading publisher of classic literature in the English-speaking world. With more than 1,700 titles, Penguin Classics represents a global bookshelf of the best works throughout history and across genres and disciplines. Readers trust the series to provide authoritative texts enhanced by introductions and notes by distinguished scholars and contemporary authors, as well as up-to-date translations by award-winning translators.
release date: Sep 26, 2017
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Go, Went, Gone

An unforgettable German bestseller about the European refugee crisis: “Erpenbeck will get under your skin” (Washington Post Book World)

Go, Went, Gone is the masterful new novel by the acclaimed German writer Jenny Erpenbeck, “one of the most significant German-language novelists of her generation” (The Millions). The novel tells the tale of Richard, a retired classics professor who lives in Berlin. His wife has died, and he lives a routine existence until one day he spies some African refugees staging a hunger strike in Alexanderplatz. Curiosity turns to compassion and an inner transformation, as he visits their shelter, interviews them, and becomes embroiled in their harrowing fates. Go, Went, Gone is a scathing indictment of Western policy toward the European refugee crisis, but also a touching portrait of a man who finds he has more in common with the Africans than he realizes. Exquisitely translated by Susan Bernofsky, Go, Went, Gone addresses one of the most pivotal issues of our time, facing it head-on in a voice that is both nostalgic and frightening.
release date: Jul 30, 2015
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The Metamorphosis (Norton Critical Editions)

Franz Kafka's 1915 novella of nightmarish transformation became a worldwide classic and remains a century later one of the most widely read works of fiction in the world. This new and acclaimed translation is accompanied by possible inspirations and critical analysis of Gregor Samsa's strange story.

This Norton Critical Edition includes:

· Susan Bernofsky’s acclaimed new translation, along with her Translator’s Note.
· Introductory materials and explanatory footnotes by Mark M. Anderson.
· Three illustrations.
· Related texts by Kafka, Leopold von Sacher-Masoch, Friedrich Nietzsche, and Rainer Maria Rilke, among others.
· Eight critical essays by Günther Anders, Walter H. Sokel, Nina Pelikan Straus, Mark M. Anderson, Elizabeth Boa, Carolin Duttlinger, Kári Driscoll, and Dan Miron.
· A Chronology and a Selected Bibliography.

release date: Nov 14, 1995
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Franz Kafka: The Complete Stories

The Complete Stories brings together all of Kafka’s stories, from the classic tales such as “The Metamorphosis,” “In the Penal Colony,” and “A Hunger Artist” to shorter pieces and fragments that Max Brod, Kafka’s literary executor, released after Kafka’s death. With the exception of his three novels, the whole of Kafka’s narrative work is included in this volume. 

release date: May 25, 1999
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The Trial: A New Translation Based on the Restored Text (The Schocken Kafka Library)
Written in 1914, The Trial is one of the most important novels of the twentieth century: the terrifying tale of Josef K., a respectable bank officer who is suddenly and inexplicably arrested and must defend himself against a charge about which he can get no information. Whether read as an existential tale, a parable, or a prophecy of the excesses of modern bureaucracy wedded to the madness of totalitarianism, Kafka's nightmare has resonated with chilling truth for generations of readers. This new edition is based upon the work of an international team of experts who have restored the text, the sequence of chapters, and their division to create a version that is as close as possible to the way the author left it.

In his brilliant translation, Breon Mitchell masterfully reproduces the distinctive poetics of Kafka's prose, revealing a novel that is as full of energy and power as it was when it was first written.
release date: Aug 01, 1993
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Letters to a Young Poet

Rilke's timeless letters about poetry, sensitive observation, and the complicated workings of the human heart.

Born in 1875, the great German lyric poet Rainer Maria Rilke published his first collection of poems in 1898 and went on to become renowned for his delicate depiction of the workings of the human heart. Drawn by some sympathetic note in his poems, young people often wrote to Rilke with their problems and hopes. From 1903 to 1908 Rilke wrote a series of remarkable responses to a young, would-be poet on poetry and on surviving as a sensitive observer in a harsh world. Those letters, still a fresh source of inspiration and insight, are accompanied here by a chronicle of Rilke's life that shows what he was experiencing in his own relationship to life and work when he wrote them. 

release date: Feb 26, 1999
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The Reader
Hailed for its coiled eroticism and the moral claims it makes upon the reader, this mesmerizing novel is a story of love and secrets, horror and compassion, unfolding against the haunted landscape of postwar Germany.

When he falls ill on his way home from school, fifteen-year-old Michael Berg is rescued by Hanna, a woman twice his age. In time she becomes his lover—then she inexplicably disappears. When Michael next sees her, he is a young law student, and she is on trial for a hideous crime. As he watches her refuse to defend her innocence, Michael gradually realizes that Hanna may be guarding a secret she considers more shameful than murder.
release date: Apr 12, 1996
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The Metamorphosis and Other Stories (Dover Thrift Editions)

Since his death in 1924, Kafka has come to be regarded as one of the greatest modern writers, one whose work brilliantly explores the anxiety, futility, and complexity of modern life. The precision and clarity of Kafka's style, its powerful symbolism, and his existential exploration of the human condition have given his work universal significance.
In addition to the title selection, considered by many critics Kafka's most perfect work, this collection includes "The Judgment," "In the Penal Colony," "A Country Doctor," and "A Report to an Academy." Stanley Appelbaum has provided excellent new English translation of the stories and a brief Note placing them within Kafka's oeuvre.
A selection of the Common Core State Standards Initiative.

release date: Oct 13, 2016
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The Original Folk and Fairy Tales of the Brothers Grimm: The Complete First Edition

When Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm published their Children's and Household Tales in 1812, followed by a second volume in 1815, they had no idea that such stories as "Rapunzel," "Hansel and Gretel," and "Cinderella" would become the most celebrated in the world. Yet few people today are familiar with the majority of tales from the two early volumes, since in the next four decades the Grimms would publish six other editions, each extensively revised in content and style. For the very first time, The Original Folk and Fairy Tales of the Brothers Grimm makes available in English all 156 stories from the 1812 and 1815 editions. These narrative gems, newly translated and brought together in one beautiful book, are accompanied by sumptuous new illustrations from award-winning artist Andrea Dezsö.

From "The Frog King" to "The Golden Key," wondrous worlds unfold―heroes and heroines are rewarded, weaker animals triumph over the strong, and simple bumpkins prove themselves not so simple after all. Esteemed fairy tale scholar Jack Zipes offers accessible translations that retain the spare description and engaging storytelling style of the originals. Indeed, this is what makes the tales from the 1812 and 1815 editions unique―they reflect diverse voices, rooted in oral traditions, that are absent from the Grimms' later, more embellished collections of tales. Zipes's introduction gives important historical context, and the book includes the Grimms' prefaces and notes.

A delight to read, The Original Folk and Fairy Tales of the Brothers Grimm presents these peerless stories to a whole new generation of readers.

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release date: Mar 06, 2018
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Berlin Alexanderplatz (New York Review Books Classics)
The inspiration for Rainer Werner Fassbinder's epic film and that The Guardian named one of the "Top 100 Books of All Time," Berlin Alexanderplatz is considered one of the most important works of the Weimar Republic and twentieth century literature.

Berlin Alexanderplatz, the great novel of Berlin and the doomed Weimar Republic, is one of the great books of the twentieth century, gruesome, farcical, and appalling, word drunk, pitchdark. In Michael Hofmann's extraordinary new translation, Alfred Döblin's masterpiece lives in English for the first time.

As Döblin writes in the opening pages: 

The subject of this book is the life of the former cement worker and haulier Franz Biberkopf in Berlin. As our
story begins, he has just been released from prison, where he did time for some stupid stuff; now he is back
in Berlin, determined to go straight. 

To begin with, he succeeds. But then, though doing all right for himself financially, he gets involved in a
set-to with an unpredictable external agency that looks an awful lot like fate. 

Three times the force attacks him and disrupts his scheme. The first time it comes at him with dishonesty and deception. Our man is able to get to his feet, he is still good to stand. 

Then it strikes him a low blow. He has trouble getting up from that, he is almost counted out. And finally it hits him with monstrous and extreme violence.
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