Sigrid Nunez's Bookshelf
By W.G. Sebald
One of the fascinating things about The Emigrants is how difficult it is to describe. It is composed of a quartet of stories about four people living in exile from Germany. Only slowly does the reader begin to connect the stories and to understand that this is a narrative about the Holocaust. Sebald's prose has a hallucinatory force, and this unique work, which is as much a documentary as a work of fiction, leaves the reader awed and shaken. Though it speaks of terribly painful things, its wisdom and beauty lift up the heart.