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The Hotel Years

The Hotel Years gathers sixty-four feuilletons: on hotels; pains and pleasures; personalities; and the deteriorating international situation of the 1930s. Never before translated into English, these pieces begin in Vienna just at the end of the First World War, and end in Paris near the outbreak of the Second World War. Roth, the great journalist of his day, needed journalism to survive: in his six-volume collected works in German, there are three of fiction and three of journalism. Beginning in 1921, Roth wrote mostly for the liberal Frankfurter Zeitung who sent him on assignments throughout Germany - the inflation, the occupation, political assassinations - and abroad, to the USSR, Italy, Poland and Albania. And always: "I celebrate my return to lobby and chandelier, porter and chambermaid."
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About the Author

Joseph Roth (1894-1939) was the great elegist of the cosmopolitan culture that flourished in the dying days of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. He published several books and articles before his untimely death at the age of 44. Roth's writing has been admired by J. M. Coetzee, Jeffrey Eugenides, Elie Wiesel, and Nadine Gordimer, among many others. For his translations, acclaimed poet Michael Hofmann has won the Independent Foreign Fiction Prize, the Dublin International IMPAC Award, the PEN/Book-of-the-Month Club Prize, the Helen and Kurt Wolff Translator's Prize, the Oxford-Weidenfeld Translation Prize, and The Schlegel-Tieck Prize (four times). He is the highly acclaimed translator of, among others, Kafka, Brecht, and Joseph Roth.


"Nonstop brilliance, irresistible charm and continuing relevance." -- Jeffrey Eugenides - New York Times Book Review "Roth captures and encapsulates Europe in those uncertain hours before the upheaval of a continent and the annihilation of a civilization." -- Cynthia Ozick "A singular achievement of both journalism and literature." -- Thane Rosenbaum - The Washington Post Book World "His was a voice of uncowed conscience and irrepressible humanism, his body of work a damning j'accuse against the folly of the age. The dispatches in The Hotel Years constitute a compelling vindication of his claims for the feuilleton's literary possibilities." -- Houman Barekat - Los Angeles Review of Books "So consistently incisive that we devour the lot, compulsively, from cover to cover." -- Amanda Hopkinson - The Independent "Roth was as equally magisterial and entertaining in his journalism as he was in his novels, and Michael Hofmann's new selection of Roth's nonfiction, his fourteenth translation of Roth's overall, is thoroughly addictive." -- Andre Naffis-Sahely - Paris Review "Dazzling, elegiac, mordant and harrowingly oracular by turn." -- George Prochnik - New York Times Book Review "The Hotel Years is a master class in journalism, and a reminder that when a writer can play multiple small notes, he creates a full composition that carries the depth of meaning." -- Juan Vidal - NPR Books "Roth's hotel years came to an abrupt end in the Old World. Thankfully, his account of them, and of the turbulent cross-currents of his age, live on in exquisite collections such as this one." -- Malcolm Forbes - The American Interest "Brilliantly perceptive, beautifully crafted and often dripping with mordant wit." -- Toby Lichtig - The Wall Street Journal

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