The Jew Car

Franz F├╝hmann

Translated by Isabel Fargo Cole


5 x 8 inches, 256pp. Jne 2013

ISBN : 9780857420862

Rs  425.00 (HB)
$21.00 (HB)
£13.50 (HB)

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Originally published in 1962, Franz Fühmann’s autobiographical story cycle The Jew Car is a classic of German short fiction and an unparalleled examination of the psychology of National Socialism. Each story presents a snapshot of a personal and historical turning point in the life of the narrator, beginning with childhood anti-Semitism and moving to a youthful embrace—and then an ultimate rejection—of Nazi ideology. With scathing irony and hallucinatory intensity, reflections on the nature of memory, and the individual experience of history, the cycle acquires the weight of a novel.


"Fühmann’s work, beginning with The Jew Car, can be read as a great literary self-analysis in the spirit of Freud. Through his work, he not only became conscious of his own thinking as it was seduced by totalitarianism, he also became capable of describing the mechanisms of a fascist upbringing with striking poetic power, transcending all theory."—Die Welt, on the German edition.

Franz Fühmann spent his childhood in the congested Sudetenland region of Czechoslovakia and served in the Wehrmacht signal corps from 1941 to 45. Embracing socialism in a Soviet POW camp, he cast in his lot with the German Democratic Republic. Gradually, however, he became an outspoken critic of the regime and the unofficial patriarch of a new dissident literature, revered in both Germanies. A magician of many literary forms, his idiosyncratic oeuvre has lost none of its urgency and appeal. 


Isabel Fargo Cole is a US-born, Berlin-based writer and translator. Her translations include Boys and Murderers by Hermann Ungar (2006) and All the Roads are Open by Annemarie Schwarzenbach (2011). She is the initiator and co-editor of, the online magazine for new German literature in English.

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