Reading Joseph Roth: A Life in Letters is like sitting across a caf table from Roth himself... No standard biography of Roth exists in English, but this collection of his letters, superbly translated and judiciously edited by long-time Roth advocate Michael Hofmann, provides a more intimate portrait than any biography could. --Roger Boylan
Occasionally a collection of letters appears that is so extraordinary in its biographical details and emotional resonance that the work becomes a classic of literature in its own right: the letters, for example, of Virginia Woolf, Ernest Hemingway or Saul Bellow. Such is the case of the legendary Austro-Hungarian novelist and essayist, Joseph Roth, who was born in Ukraine in 1894 and died tragically in Paris in 1939.
Having translated every other major Roth work including The Radetzky March, the award-winning translator Michael Hofmann presents this stunning new biography of the master novelist and legendary Euoprean journalist, told through letters. The letters span the breadth of Roth's life, from his schoolboy years - in letters to his girl cousins in the Austrian provinces - to the veteran of 44, marked by war, poverty, alcoholism, the loss of his wife through madness, and two decades of prolific work. It is a deeply moving portrait of the life of the writer as an outsider; in exile from a world he no longer recognized as his own.