I recently discovered that our friends at the Leo Baeck Institute, a research library devoted to the study of the history and culture of German-speaking Jewry, have a lot of archival material about Austrian author Joseph Roth. Their collection includes hand-written letters and manuscripts – all of them available online – which really helped to propel my fascination with this author a step further. While every once in a while a book can move me to tears, his novel Job, the story about the Jewish-orthodox Bible teacher Mendel Singer and his faith in God being put to a test, was particularly good at it.
The author of acclaimed novels such as The Radetzky March and Job was one of the voices that most vividly told us about the end of the Hapsburg Empire and the end of their world as they knew it.
The book Joseph Roth, a life in letters by Michael Hofmann, published last year, provides English language readers new insights into the life and works of Joseph Roth.
Here’s what the New York Times and The New Yorker wrote about Michael Hofmann’s translation of Joseph Roth’s correspondence:
Another crucial book in understanding this fascinating writer, whose life ended far too soon, is the biography by David Bronsen: Joseph Roth: Eine Biographie, available in German.
All the above mentioned books and many more by and on Joseph Roth are available in our library.