A Place in the Country is a window into the brilliant mind of W. G. Sebald
‘The greatest writer of our time’ Peter Carey
When W. G. Sebald travelled to Manchester in 1966, he packed in his bags certain literary favourites which would remain central to him throughout the rest of his life and during the years when he was settled in England. In A Place in the Country, he reflects on six of the figures who shaped him as a person and as a writer, from Jean-Jacques Rousseau to Jan Peter Tripp.
Fusing biography and essay, and finding, as ever, inspiration in place – as when he journeys to the Ile St. Pierre, the tiny, lonely Swiss island where Jean-Jacques Rousseau found solace and inspiration – Sebald lovingly brings his subjects to life in his distinctive, inimitable voice.
‘A fascinating volume that confirms Sebald as one of Europe’s most mysterious and best-loved literary imaginations’ Evening Standard
‘Sebald was in possession of the uncanny ability to make his own intellectual obsessions, immediately, compulsively his reader’s’ Observer
‘Irresistible . . . an intimate anatomy of the pathos, absurdity and perverse splendour of trying to find patterns in the chaos of the world’ Independent
W . G. Sebald was born in Wertach im AllgÃ¤u, Germany, in 1944 and died in December 2001. He studied German language and literature in Freiburg, Switzerland and Manchester. In 1996 he took up a position as an assistant lecturer at the University of Manchester and settled permanently in England in 1970. He was Professor of European Literature at the University of East Anglia and is the author of The Emigrants, The Rings of Saturn, Vertigo, Austerlitz, After Nature, On the Natural History of Destruction, Campo Santo, Unrecounted and a selection of poetry, Across the Land and the Water.
Jo Catling taught German for a number of years alongside W. G. Sebald at the University of East Anglia, where she is currently a senior lecturer in the School of Literature, Drama and Creative Writing.