My First Wife

My First Wife

3.46 (86 ratings by Goodreads)
  • Electronic book text
By (author) 

Currently unavailable

We can notify you when this item is back in stock

Add to wishlist

AbeBooks may have this title (opens in new window).

Try AbeBooks

Description

My First Wife is Jakob Wassermann's intense, powerful account of a marriage - and its ruinous collapse - translated by the award-winning translator of Alone in Berlin, Michael Hofmann. It is the story of Alexander Herzog, a young writer, who goes to Vienna to escape his debts and a failed love affair. There he is pursued by book-loving Ganna: giddy, girlish, clumsy, eccentric and wild. Dazzled and unnerved by her devotion to him, and attracted to the large dowry offered by her wealthy father, he thinks he can mould Ganna into what he wants. But no-one can control her troubling passions. As their marriage starts to self-destruct, Herzog will discover that Ganna has resources and determination of which he had no idea - and that he can never escape her.Posthumously published in 1934 and based on the author Jakob Wassermann's own ruinous marriage, My First Wife bears the unmistakable aura of true and bitter experience. It is a tragic masterpiece that unfolds in shocking detail. Now this story of rare intensity and drama is brought to English readers in a powerful new translation by Michael Hofmann.Reviews:'The candour and extremity and intelligence of My First Wife are profoundly affecting ... This is a literary masterwork of a vanished kind, but through the remarkable Hofmann it is born again as a story for our age. Hogmann has the rare ability to refresh the very heart of a text in translating it, to increase its connections to life' Rachel Cusk, Guardian'Like something out of Chekhov - it's all there, the ennui, the preening etiquette, the intellectual posturing ... painfully heartfelt ... My First Wife is a devastating indictment of the choices we make out of convenience against our hearts and instincts, and the tragedies that ensue' Independent'You won't find a more agonising, fascinating literary account of a marriage hitting the rocks' Mail Online
show more

Product details

  • Electronic book text | 288 pages
  • Penguin Books Ltd
  • London, United Kingdom
  • 0141389362
  • 9780141389363

About Jakob Wassermann

Jakob Wassermann (1873-1934) was a prominent - and towards the end of his life bestselling - German-Jewish wrtier who lived mostly in Vienna after 1906. Wassermann was most renknowed for his fiction but also wrote plays, biographies and a memoir My Path as a German and a Jew. He was friends with Rainer Maria Rilke, Thomas Mann and many other prominent writers of the time. His books were burned and forbidden by the Nazis starting in 1933. My First Wife is undoubtedly based in part on Wassermann's own troubled marriage to Julie Speyer.
show more

Review quote

The candour and extremity and intelligence of My First Wife are profoundly affecting ... This is a literary masterwork of a vanished kind, but through the remarkable Hofmann it is born again as a story for our age. Hogmann has the rare ability to refresh the very heart of a text in translating it, to increase its connections to life -- Rachel Cusk * Guardian * You won't find a more agonising, fascinating literary account of a marriage hitting the rocks * Mail Online * The opening pages of this novel are ike something out of Chekhov - it's all there, the ennui, the preening etiquette, the intellectual posturing ... painfully heartfelt ... My First Wife is a devastating indictment of the choices we make out of convenience against our hearts and instincts, and the tragedies that ensue * Independent * [Wassermann's] most elegant and focused work * London Review of Books *
show more

Rating details

86 ratings
3.46 out of 5 stars
5 12% (10)
4 37% (32)
3 38% (33)
2 12% (10)
1 1% (1)
Book ratings by Goodreads
Goodreads is the world's largest site for readers with over 50 million reviews. We're featuring millions of their reader ratings on our book pages to help you find your new favourite book. Close X