Vertigo - W. G. Sebald

New Directions


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Vertigo by W. G. Sebald, translated by Michael Hulse / ISBN 9780811226165 / 263-page paperback from New Directions


A masterwork of W. G. Sebald, now with a gorgeous new cover by the famed designer Peter Mendelsund

Perfectly titled, Vertigo ―W.G. Sebald's marvelous first novel ― is a work that teeters on the edge: compelling, puzzling, and deeply unsettling.

An unnamed narrator, beset by nervous ailments, journeys accross Europe to Vienna, Venice, Verona, Riva, and finally to his childhood home in a small Bavarian village. He is also journeying into the past. Traveling in the footsteps of Stendhal, Casanova, and Kafka, the narrator draws the reader, line by line, into a dizzying web of history, biography, legends, literature, and ― most perilously ― memories.

"Tragic, stunningly beautiful, strange and haunting. The secret of Sebald's appeal is that he saw himself in what now seems almost an old-fashioned way as a voice of conscience, someone who remembers injustice, who speaks for those who can no longer speak." ― The New York Review of Books

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