The Search for Joseph Roth

Dennis Marks, Michael Hofmann


The Austrian writer Joseph Roth was born in 1894 on the dusty edge of Eastern Europe. He died, forty four years later in a Paris sanatorium, a rootless, stateless alcoholic. In between he wrote 15 novels and novellas, and some of the most potent and evocative journalism of the 1920s and1930s. His writings conjure up a world of shattered kingdoms and displaced persons.

In this psycho-geography Dennis Marks traveled through Austria and Ukraine in search of a great author who was both a compulsive liar and the prose poet of displacement. Wandering Jew: The Search for Joseph Roth juxtaposes Roth’s unique vision with the statelessness of those who live on the frayed edges of Eastern Europe. A Life in Letters, translated and edited by Michael Hofmann, is both a stunning biography and moving portrait of the writer as an outsider.

Michael Hofmann

Michael Hofmann is the highly acclaimed translator of Joseph Roth, Wolfgang Koeppen, Kafka, and Brecht and the author of several books of poems and book of criticism.

Dennis Marks

Dennis Marks is a writer, broadcaster, filmmaker and seasoned traveller. Hespent seven years in charge of BBC Television’s Music Department and five years as Director of the ENO. His current projects involve works on Joseph Roth, Sir Michael Tippett and the history of Jews in the Ottoman Empire.