The Seventh Well is a short autobiographical novel, its loose, episodic chapters covering the period of 1942-5, which the author spent in German concentration camps. Flashbacks recall his early internment in France, and the book closes with the liberation of Buchenwald in April 1945. Rather than focus on his own story though, Fred Wander describes the lives and deaths of his fellow internees - the creative power of his story-telling invests their deaths with dignity and keeps their memories alive. It was first published in 1971, then reissued with a new afterword to great acclaim in Germany in 2005, the year before the author died aged ninety. This new translation by acclaimed translator and poet Michael Hofmann captures the power and physicality of his language.
Publisher: Granta Books
Number of pages: 176
Weight: 134 g
Dimensions: 198 x 129 x 12 mm
'Of all the accounts I have read of survival in the Nazi lager ... few approach Wander's for the quality of its writing or its civilised mission to bear witness. The book's limpid, clean-cut narrative creates an extraordinary sense of communion and intimacy with the reader. Exquisitely translated by Michael Hofmann, The Seventh Well is not a memoir; it is a work of art' Ian Thomson, Guardian 'Prose of spectacular, often Biblical beauty ... It is beautiful and strange; rich in those moments, those passing observations of joy as well as horror, that cause the reader to stop and grasp that this is what it was like to wander through hell - and then survive carrying a powerful clutch of stories' Eileen Battersby, Irish Times 'The Seventh Well by Fred Wander, translated by Michael Hofmann, is that book which makes the world tilt on its axis; it makes you say: Oh, now I see ...!A" It made me glad that, for once in my life, I'd been forced to do something I didn't want to' Julie Burchill, Observer 'It is extraordinary that it has taken almost four decades for a book of such undeniable importance to finally be published in English ... Like all great Holocaust writing, The Seventh Well is a book of powerful testimony and defiance' Herald