Uwe Johnson, A Trip to Klagenfurt
with "Youth in an Austrian Town" by Ingeborg Bachmann; tr. from German
A brilliant collage-biography of one major twentieth-century writer by another. Johnson and Bachmann were friends, and after her sensationalized death in 1973 Johnson made a pilgrimage to her home town, collected newspaper, tourist brochures, and other facts, and constructed a scrupulously discreet record of her surroundings, and indirectly of her life.
"This book is ... utterly successful in its attempt to approach the truth. It is a model biography." —Nobel Prize winner Heinrich Böll, 1974