Joseph Roth, the greatest European newspaper correspondent of his age, left the splintering Weimar Republic for Paris in 1925 and, as an Austrian Jew, was exiled there for the rest of his life. Collected together here for the first time in English, these exhilarating pieces evoke a world of suppleness, beauty and promise. From the port town of Marseilles to the Riviera of Nice and Monte Carlo, to the exotic hill country around Avign, from the socialist workers and cattlemen with whom Roth ate breakfast, to prostitutes and Sunday bullfighters, The White Cities is t only a swan song to a European order that could longer hold but also a beautifully crafted and revelatory work.
JOSEPH ROTH (1894-1939) was the great elegist of the cosmopolitan, tolerant and doomed Central European culture that flourished in the dying days of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. Born into a Jewish family in Galicia, on the eastern edge of the empire, he was a prolific political journalist and novelist. On Hitler's assumption of power, he was obliged to leave Germany for Paris, where he died in poverty a few years later. His books include What I Saw, Job, The White Cities, The String of Pearls and The Radetzky March, all published by Granta Books. MICHAEL HOFMANN is the highly acclaimed translator of Joseph Roth, Wolfgang Koeppen, Kafka and Brecht, and the author of several books of poems and book of criticism. He has translated nine previous books by Joseph Roth. He teaches at the University of Florida in Gainesville.