W. G. Sebald was a literary phenomenon: a German literary scholar working in England, who took up creative writing out of dissatisfaction with German post-war letters. Within only a few years, his unique prose books made him one of the most celebrated authors of the late twentieth-century. Sebald died prematurely, aged 57, after the publication of his most celebrated prose fiction Austerlitz. This accessible critical introduction, written by a leading expert, highlights Sebald’s double role as writer and academic. It discusses his oeuvre in the order in which his works were published in German in order to offer a deeper understanding of the original development of his literary writings. In addition to concise but incisive interpretations of the main publications, Schütte demonstrates how Sebald’s critical writings (most of which still await translation) fed into his literary texts and concludes his study with a perceptive assessment of Sebald as a cult author.
'Schütte’s book is now the place to start with one’s study of Sebald... It seems so simple, doesn’t it—summarize an author’s life, books, and impact in 130 pages? Schütte makes this look easy, which is a credit to the clarity of his writing and critical thinking.'