Gabriele Tergit: The Effingers

Erscheint am 19. Februar 2019

Gabriele Tergit
The Effingers

fiction, new
Edited by Nicole Henneberg, first published in 1951

900pp (235,000 words)

>>A Jewish family saga from 1878 to 1948, in the tradition of »Buddenbrooks«

Stretching across four generations, this modern epic follows the Effingers, a Jewish family that attains considerable wealth through hard work, good luck and talent. Beginning with the relatively comfortable life of a working family in a south German town, when Germany under Bismarck seemed to have a bright future, the novel reaches its apex in cosmopolitan Berlin in the roaring twenties, where the Effingers are leading elegant, upper-middle-class lives. Vividly detailed and true-to-life, the novel conjures up this German-Jewish world for the reader, a world sustained and populated by a cast of distinctive, carefully drawn characters, like the intelligent and very modest Paul Effinger or the artistically gifted, graceful but naïve Sofie Oppner. Yet, like so many other families, the Effingers were ultimately torn apart by the devastating currents of history: the horrors of the twentieth century, its two world wars, proved their undoing.

It’s hard to believe that Gabriele Tergit, the famous journalist and writer of the Weimar Era, struggled to find a publisher for the novel after the Second World War. Evidently many people found the material too controversial so soon after the Holocaust. Yet this book is neither a lament nor an accusation; its insight and diversity of voices make The Effingers a masterpiece, full of humour, quick dialogue, poetic sensitivity and profound human empathy.


»This wide-ranging book is astonishing, courageous and significant.«
Axel Eggebrecht, Nordwestdeutscher Rundfunk

»Sensationally impartial.«
Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung

More titles by Gabriele Tergit

Gabriele Tergit: The Old GardenGabriele Tergit: The Happy GardenerGabriele Tergit: Käsebier Takes BerlinGabriele Tergit: Something Altogether Rare