Martin Mosebach was born in Frankfurt am Main in 1951. After passing his bar exams to qualify as a lawyer in 1979, he established himself as a writer in the city of his birth, where he still lives today. His first novel was published in 1983; since then, he has published a further nine acclaimed novels that have been translated into several languages. He has also written stories, poetry, libretti and essays on art and literature, ventured into travel writing and explored religious, historical and political topics. Mosebach has received many accolades and awards, including the Heinrich von Kleist Prize, the Georg Büchner Prize and the Goethe Award.
“One of the most significant society novels ever written in German” (Die Zeit) – now in a new edition
Eduard Has sees himself as lucky. The war has destroyed his home city but also opened lucrative new opportunities for his real estate firm in Frankfurt’s upmarket borough of Westend. He rewards his own success with a collection of expressionist paintings, a genre still widely rejected. Next to his coolly stylish wife he keeps a lover; he also adores the ground his daughter Lily walks on. Why can’t life just continue like this forever?
Westend is set in a borough of Frankfurt built during the economic boom of the Gründerzeit in the 19th century, nestled between the Palmengarten botanical gardens and the Alte Oper opera house. Being in the spirit of the great European society novels, its focus is the city and its populace, covering all classes and social strata. This gloriously vivid story allows Martin Mosebach to assemble a cast of characters whose fates he uses to depict an entire epoch of post-war Germany. Speculators and art dealers, rubbish collectors, janitors and cleaning women, the last scions of old Frankfurt’s respectable upper class and a pair of young lovers who carry the burdens of their fathers’ sins and learn to overcome them… An epic of stellar quality, Mosebach’s novel portrays the transformation of an urban society in the West Germany’s founding years. It is one of the author’s major works that is now, 30 years after its widely ignored publication, awaiting rediscovery.