Book World: In ‘Not a Novel,’ Jenny Erpenbeck continues to evolve

Not a Novel: A Memoir in Pieces Not a Novel: A Memoir in Pieces Photo: New Directions Photo: New Directions Image 1 of / 1 Caption Close Image 1 of 1 Not a Novel: A Memoir in Pieces Not a Novel: A Memoir in Pieces Photo: New Directions Book World: In ‘Not a Novel,’ Jenny Erpenbeck continues to evolve 1  /  1 Back to Gallery By Jenny Erpenbeck New Directions. 212 pp. $16.95 – – – “Not a Novel,” the latest from Jenny Erpenbeck, bears the subtitle “A Memoir in Pieces,” and yet it does not include much memoir, strictly speaking. Though this author’s 2017 novel, “Go, Went, Gone,” was greeted with acclaim, for the new selection of essays her American editors preferred a shorter selection than appeared in the original German. Thus the author’s recollections of growing up in the Communist East, and of the upheavals that followed the Wall coming down – the memoir material, in other words – are confined to a brief opening section. That section is titled “Life,” and indeed, the reminiscences have a crackling vitality. In one, the adult Erpenbeck at last gets to open her “Stasi file,” the record kept by the now-defunct… Read full this story

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