Johannes Bobrowski (1917-1965) is known as one of Germany's greatest writers. His first novel, set in a West Prussian village in 1874, tells the story of the narrator's grandfather, who plots and schemes to ruin the Jewish newcomer who has built a mill downstream from him. With splendid irony, Bobrowski describes the diverse characters of the Jews, Poles, Gypsies, and Germans who inhabit the village, and whose affairs mirror the larger history of Poland. As The Irish Times says, "Bobrowski has a marvelous ability to evoke the countryside and a vanished way of life… throughout the entire book there is a keen though understated element of humour, as well as a compelling, dream-like sense of fantasy."
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