The author of a variety of novels, short stories, and poetry, Abish caused quite a stir when his best-known novel, How German Is It?, was released in 1980. Despite its realistic depiction of German life and psyche, he wrote the novel never having actually traveled to Germany. In this memoir, he details the process of writing and promoting How German Is It?, along with many of the other experiences that shaped his life and set him apart as a novelist. The memoir begins with a glimpse of his family life as a young child. His experiences were similar to those of many displaced families at the time: They fled Austria in 1938 and eventually went on to live in Italy, France, China, and Israel. Each of these stays was peppered with adventures-both unique and harrowing. Abish's vivid imagery provides the reader with a sense of Europe during the late 1930s and 1940s, with all of its chaos, confusion, and uncertainty. The story moves back and forth between Abish's childhood and his journeys as an adult, but the stories of his youth have the most impact. A wonderful addition to any library, public or academic.-
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