Efraim’s Book


Alfred Andersch
translated by Ralph Manheim

Efraim's Book is the sophisticated, offbeat novel about the peculiar society of post-World-II Berlin. Its hero George Efraim is a Jewish reporter who has fought for the British on the Italian front and lost both parents to Auschwitz. He returns home to Berlin in 1962 for the first time since the war to investigate the wartime disappearance of his editor's daughter, only to begin writing a novel, which helps him "to embark on a certain arrangement of signs with the help of which I hope to chart my position." Like the great German novels of Günter Grass and Heinrich Böll, Alfred Andersch's Efraim's Book grapples with the legacy of World War II and the Holocaust in all its horror and sad humanity. A troubling yet often humorous book, it offers a poignant account of the traumatized German state.

More Praise…

“An impressively convincing synthesis of the simultaneous levels of consciousness... brought into that interrelation of elements that in every successful work of art strikes one as inevitable.”

— Charles Lam Markmann, Nation