Wednesday 19 September 2018

Erpenbeck, Jenny "The End of Days"

Erpenbeck, Jenny "The End of Days" (German: Aller Tage Abend) - 2012

Jenny Erpenbeck is quite a well-known German author so I thought it was about time to read one of her books. I was not disappointed. What an interesting book.

How long is a child going to live, what kind of life is it going to be? Who is going to be around, who will be there to mourn them when they die. In this book, we get a feeling on how different a life can go and how different the end can be. A very interesting concept of describing how certain decisions can end a life or prolong it.

A brilliant story that is written with so much poise, so much dedication, it's almost as if the author writes about someone she knows herself personally.

A very moving book, a great novel by a great author.

From the back cover:

"Winner of the Independent Foreign Fiction Prize and the Hans Fallada Prize, The End of Days, by the acclaimed German writer Jenny Erpenbeck, consists essentially of five 'books,' each leading to a different death of the same unnamed female protagonist. How could it all have gone differently? - the narrator asks in the intermezzos. The first chapter begins with the death of a baby in the early twentieth-century Hapsburg Empire. In the next chapter, the same girl grows up in Vienna after World War I, but a pact she makes with a young man leads to a second death. In the next scenario, she survives adolescence and moves to Russia with her husband. Both are dedicated Communists, yet our heroine ends up in a labor camp. But her fate does not end there….

A novel of incredible breadth and amazing concision, The End of Days offers a unique overview of the twentieth century."


  1. Wonderful! I want to experience this author.

    1. And I want to read more by her - though, not all of her books have been translated but hopefully one day. I think this is a good start.