Zitate zu Jenny Erpenbeck: Go, Went, Gone . Knaus Verlag (Hardcover, Literary Fiction)

Go, Went, Gone

Original Title: Gehen, ging, gegangen

Hardcover with jacket, 352 pages, 13.5 x 21.5 cm, 5.3 x 8.5 in.
ISBN: 978-3-8135-0370-8
€ 19.99 [D] | € 20.60 [A] | CHF 28.90 * (* rec. retail price) recommended retail price

Publishing House: Knaus

Date of publication: August 31, 2015
This title is available.

Kundenrezensionen: 4 Sterne (18)


Rights sold to: Croatia (Ljevak), Denmark (Rosinante), Egypt (Sefsafa), Finland (Tammi), Greece (Kastaniotis), Hungary (Park), Italy (Sellerio), The Netherlands (Van Gennep), Norway (Oktober), Portugal (Religio d'Agua), Spain (Anagrama), Spain/Catalan (Angle), Sweden (Bonnier), Turkey (Can), UK (Portobello/Granta), US/CAN (New Direction)

English sample translation available

Jenny  Erpenbeck - Go, Went, Gone


"[Erpenbeck's] task is comprehension rather than replication, and she uses a measured, lyrically austere prose, whose even tread barely betrays the considerable passion that drives it onward. [...] Among contemporary writers, this classical restraint calls to mind J.M. Coetzee, the V.S. Naipaul of The Enigma of Arrival, and Teju Cole's Open City.

The New Yorker

"A powerful, candid novel [...] Europe’s outstanding literary seer, Jenny Erpenbeck’s new novel resonates with an unexpected simplicity that is profound, unsettling and subtle. [...] Erpenbeck’s powerful tale, delivered in a wonderfully plain, candid tone, is both real and true. It will alert readers, make us more aware and, it is to be hoped, more human."

The Guardian

"Erpenbeck is scathing about the absurdities of a nightmarish bureaucracy that appears to deliberately wrongfoot refugees. Deceptively unhurried, yet undeniably urgent, this is Erpenbeck's most significant work to date."

Financial Times

"A lyrical urgent response to a history that is still unfolding."


"The consistence brilliance and magic of Erpenbeck’s writing is hard to convey. Her sentences are rapier-sharp and consistently jolt you out of any existential complacency. Her descriptions are always haunting and conveyed with an artful economy. Most contemporary novelists take as their setting the ways in which history unravels individual destiny. But none does is with as much psychological acuteness as Erpenbeck. But while her history is without consolation, she achieves a moral clarity that is marvellous in its precision."

Indian Express

"Erpenbeck bluntly reminds readers what is at stake for Germany and, by extension, the world. A timely, informed, and moving novel of political fury."


"Erpenbeck binds the upheavals of past and present, Europe and Africa. Lyrical and satirical by turns, she shows that fearful isolation, emotional or political, hurts wall-builders and wall-jumpers alike."


"A Novelist's Powerful Response to the Refugee Crisis"

The New Yorker

"[Erpenbeck shows] that beneath the 'veneer' of reality, much in life is hidden or suppressed… In clear, unshowy prose […] this is a highly sophisticated work, about how blatant injustice exists together with forces that lurk beneath the surface… With extraordinary emotional power, her analytical skill now matched by a tenderness to human beings that remains utterly unsentimental"


"Her book is a poetic, sad, and thrilling utopia, a kind of opposite to Houellebecq’s Submission."

Die Welt

"The book of the hour."

Die Zeit Literatur

"Erpenbeck gives faces to the refugee problem. And stories. Stories that are foreign to us – but at the same time very near."


"Vital… [Erpenbeck] is asking a compelling and timely question."

Irish Times

"A deeply humane novel, coming exactly at the right time."

DeutschlandRadio Kultur

"Jenny Erpenbeck has written the book of the hour. … It is a sorrowful stroke of luck for German literature that Erpenbeck … has given us."

Der Spiegel

"[In] this wise, moving novel […] Erpenbeck demands that her fellow countrymen show compassion to those whose lives have been 'cut off, as if with a knife'."


"Acclaimed novelist Jenny Erpenbeck has gone further than most in examining the ephemeral nature of human life… an immensely ambitious novel, tackling a wide, complex range of themes. It is about the abitraryness of borders, both literal and metaphorical, and the notion of foreignness as opposed to belonging. It is about the complex nature of comprehension and compassion, and the places genuine empathy between foreign bodies might be achieved. It constantly seeks evidence of permanence below surfaces – the novel is full of subterranean references, from the catacombs to the underground subways, from tree roots to graveyards. It is also a clarion call, a righteous protest against dehumanising government systems […] Ultimately Erpenbeck – wise, caring and profound – triumphs in this heart-rending plea for universal tolerance and respect."

Big Issue

"Erpenbeck is a good storyteller, who expands the individuality of her main character, as well as the well-researched situations."

Saarbrücker Zeitung

"Well researched and of tragic currency (…) A novel of reality, and not some call to well-intentioned activism."

Saarbrücker Zeitung

"This novel is realistic. Not because it presents true-to-life conditions, but because it builds a literary reality that reflects the reality of the world."

NZZ am Sonntag

"Yet this novel is far more than a presentation of love, shame, and cluelessness. Jenny Erpenbeck does not veer away from the conflicts that occur when cultures confront one another."

Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung

"Jenny Erpenbeck is a rare case of the moralistic novelist who is a true storyteller. She is a solid poetical architect of our world (...)"

Die Welt

"With a high level of craft she creates a precarious balance appropriate to the present-day situation."

Der Spiegel

"The quality of this novel is that it dispenses with prejudices, looks under the surfaces, and brings foreign cultures closer."


"A book filled with poignant stories of refugees, while at the same time posing an alternative about how the world could be."

Nordwestradio „Die Buchpiloten“

"[Her] new novel (...) is in spite of the very contemporary and in no way light topic a truly beautiful, heartwarming book in the best sense."

NDR Kultur

"She has truly succeeded in avoiding emotional kitsch, clichés, and a black-and-white presentation. Readers are given a new perspective of the issues through the characters."

NDR Kultur

"There is perhaps no novel that reflects so well the political situation of the world as Go, Went, Gone. Jenny Erpenbeck is the author of the hour."

Bild Zeitung

"Jenny Erpenbeck reaches both the heart and the mind. She penetrates to the core of today’s crisis through her novels."

Sächsische Zeitung

"But if this book is nominated for the book prize, then one absolutely must read it. And afterwards say: Buy this: it is very, very good."


"Go, Went, Gone is a work of compelling timeliness – and at the same time one whose volatility is literarily neither sought for nor calculated"


"Informative and touching."


"Jenny Erpenbeck (...) succeeds in creating an empathetic inner look into the true problems of the refugees, ones that we have thus far been ignorant of."

ARD Druckfrisch

"(...) just how enjoyably and precisely all of this is written: with an analytic empathy, and without kitsch or emotional fluff."


"Jenny Erpenbeck’s novel … is distinguished by the fact that quite different aspects of foreignness are engaged … Erpenbeck’s art is that her novel never becomes theoretical."

Spiegel Online

"In a laconic tone Erpenbeck, often astonished and almost naively, looks at two worlds that could not be more different. Her novel creates a bridge (...)."


"Jenny Erpenbeck has written the book of the year."


"A book for the times. Of all the novels nominated for the book prize, Jenny Erpenbeck’s is the most significant."


"She tells her stories with an enormous literary power: startling sentences that have their full effect between the lines, powerful inner monologues, and surprising changes of perspective (...)."

Neue Osnabrücker Zeitung

"In effect what is great about this novel is that it not only parenthetically sketches the cultural history of migration, but also reveals the history of humanity itself as the history of migration."

Wochenzeitung WOZ (CH)

“In a work of intellectual and stylistic consistency [Erpenbeck] enriches current narrative art through the clarity of her language and the musical rhythm of her text.”

Jury Walter-Hasenclever-Literaturpreis 2016

"Erpenbeck’s novel should be read so that we will not forget. It wakes us up without any trace of kitsch."

titel Kulturmagazin

"The book I wish I’d written"

Kamila Shamsie in The Guardian


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