Wednesdays Are Wunderbar – German Literature Month Giveaway – Job by Joseph Roth

Initially we had planned two giveaways for  German Literature Month but now, thanks to the generosity of another editor, there is additional one today.

I’m particularly pleased as this gives me the opportunity to introduce archipelago books who are offering the title for this giveaway. Archipelago books have one of the most interesting catalogs of literature in translation I have seen so far. They offer great titles from all over the world.

I also really love their motto

a not-for-profit literary press dedicated to promoting cross-cultural exchange through international literature in translation

If you don’t know them yet it’s worth having a look at their site. Some of their books are prize winners, also in the category “Best translation”.

For German Literature Month I have the opportunity to give away one copy of one of the classics of Austrian literature, Joseph Roth’s Job.

Job is the tale of Mendel Singer, a pious, destitute Eastern-European Jew and children’s Torah teacher whose faith is tested at every turn. His youngest son seems to be incurably disabled, one of his older sons joins the Russian Army, the other deserts to America, and his daughter is running around with a Cossack. When he flees with his wife and daughter, further blows of fate await him. In this modern fable based on the biblical story of Job, Mendel Singer witnesses the collapse of his world, experiences unbearable suffering and loss, and ultimately gives up hope and curses God, only to be saved by a miraculous reversal of fortune.

As you can see, this is a novel that comes with high praise.

“A beautifully written, and in the end uplifting, parable for an era of upheaval . . . Job, opened to any page, offers something of beauty. . . Ross Benjamin’s excellent new translation gives us both the realism and the poetry.”
The Quarterly Conversation
“The totality of Joseph Roth’s work is no less than a tragédie humaineachieved in the techniques of modern fiction.”
Nadine Gordimer
“Joseph Roth was a permanent novelist. His Job was a worthy precursor of that masterpiece [The Radetzky March] . . . [Job is] both immensely sorrowful and finally strangely hopeful.
Harold Bloom
Jobis more than a novel and legend, it is a pure, perfect poetic work, which is destined to outlast everything that we, his contemporaries, have created and written. In unity of construction, in depth of feeling, in purity, in the musicality of the language, it can scarcely be surpassed.”
Stefan Zweig
“This life of an everyday man moves us as if someone had written of our lives, our longings, our struggles. Roth’s language has the discipline and rigor of German Classicism. A great and harrowing book that no one can resist.”
Ernst Toller
“Job is perfect. . . . a novel as lyric poem.”
Joan Acocella
If you are interested in reading this book, just leave a comment.

The competition is US only. The winner will be announced on Monday October 22 2012.

33 thoughts on “Wednesdays Are Wunderbar – German Literature Month Giveaway – Job by Joseph Roth

  1. Thanks for introducing Archipelago – it’s a double-edged sword, though. Bang goes my resolution not to buy any more books before I take at least 50 down to the charity shop. Job sounds good, thanks for the chance of a free one.

  2. Thanks for offering the giveaway. I am in!

    I had never heard of this but I do love connections with all things Biblical.

    The Harold Bloom quote is impressive as he is a hard critic to please.

  3. What timing–I was just thinking about what I’m going to be reading next month (and already contemplating starting now ahead of the game)…this sounds interesting, so I’d love it if you threw my name in the virtual hat. Thanks!

  4. Sounds like a great book. I wish all the competitors luck. I’ll have to keep an eye on this publisher. I wonder if they go to the London Book Fair.

  5. While reading this post, I kept thinking who is Job, Christian and Islam have same history we differ after Jesus…but the English and Arabic names are different. Then it finally hits me who Job is when I read the description.

    Stories about people loosing faith to God always intrigues me as well as stories of people finding a religion. I was born with my religion, I love my religion but I always find it interesting to know what happen to others who discover or lost a faith.

    I would love to win this but it won’t be fair, will it?

    • I agree, it’s a topic which interests me too. I still haven’t read this one. I always thought I’d have to read Job’s story in the Bible as well ti fully understand this book.
      It’s nothing to do with fair, you can win as many books as possible but the problem is, it’s US only. (:

  6. I hope you and Lizzie and your giveaway publishers all receive some well-deserved book karma for your time and generosity, Caroline, but I’m going to hold off on being entered in the giveaway lottery since I bought Roth’s The Radetzky March earlier in the year without having made time for it yet. It’s one of several candidates for my German Lit Month reading roster, though. Cheers!

    • Thanks for your comment, Richard. I want to reread the Radetzky March. We’ve read it in school and I still loved it. That should say something about the book. I hope you will read and review it.

  7. Leaving a comment but don’t really want the book thanks. I received a new German book this week – My First Wife by Jakob Wasserman pub Penguin Classics – never heard of it before but it looks pretty good.

    • That’s intersting. He was an extremely popular writer but then was totally fogotten. My grandmother bought his book, so I have a very old collection. Unfortunately not at hand, would have been great to see if I got that title. Thanks for sharing the news.

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