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The Last Country
by Svenja Leiber
translated by Nika Knight
Seagull Books, 2017
Cloth: 978-0-85742-431-0 | eISBN: 978-0-85742-458-7

ABOUT THIS BOOK | AUTHOR BIOGRAPHY | REVIEWS
ABOUT THIS BOOK
Winner of the 2015 Arno Reinfrank Literaturpreis

Ruven Preuk stands apart from the village, on an August day in 1911, and listens.” Thus begins an epic bildungsroman about the life of Ruven Preuk, son of the wainwright, child of a sleepy village in Germany’s north, where life is both simple and harsh.

Ruven, though, is neither. He has the ability to see sounds, leading him to discover an uncanny gift for the violin. When he meets a talented teacher in the Jewish quarter, Ruven falls under the spell of a prodigious future. But as the twentieth century looms, Ruven’s pursuit of his craft takes a turn. In The Last Country, Svenja Leiber spins a tale that moves from the mansions of a disappearing aristocracy to a communist rebellion, from a joyous village wedding to a Nazi official’s threats, from the First World War to the Second. As the world Ruven knows disappears, the gifted musician must grapple with an important question: to what end has he devoted himself to his art?

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