Friday, July 11, 2008

Overlook Author Profile: JOSEPH ROTH

Roth was born Moses Joseph Roth in the Habsburg Empire on September 2, 1894.

He claimed his father, who left before he was born, died in a lunatic asylum in Amsterdam.

A student of German literature and philosophy, Roth dropped out of university to volunteer in the Imperial Habsburg army in World War I.

On January 30th, 1933, the day Hitler rose to power in Germany, Roth left Germany for Paris. His prescience about the coming war was striking, as, in a letter to a friend in 1933, he noted:

“We are drifting towards great catastrophes… it all leads to a new war. I won't bet a penny on our lives.”

He would die in Paris on May 27, 1939, mere months before the invasion of Poland.

Roth published right up until his premature death, completing 19 novels in 17 years of publication.

Though considered one of the most influential pre-war European writers, his work has been hard to come by in the States. Overlook is proud to offer his astonishing oeuvre to a new American audience.

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