> Skip to content
  • Published: 3 January 2003
  • ISBN: 9780099448884
  • Imprint: Vintage Classics
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 256
  • RRP: $22.99

The Emigrants

An innovative twentieth-century classic from a major European author

At first The Emigrants appears simply to document the lives of four Jewish émigrés in the twentieth century. But gradually, as Sebald's precise, almost dreamlike prose begins to draw their stories, the four narrations merge into one overwhelming evocation of exile and loss.

Written with a bone-dry sense of humour and a fascination with the oddness of existence The Emigrants is highly original in its heady mix of fact, memory and fiction and photographs.

  • Published: 3 January 2003
  • ISBN: 9780099448884
  • Imprint: Vintage Classics
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 256
  • RRP: $22.99

About the author

W.G. Sebald

W G Sebald (Author)
W. G. Sebald was born in Wertach im Allgäu, in the Bavarian Alps, in 1944. He studied German language and literature in Freiburg, Switzerland and Manchester. In 1966 he took up a position as an assistant lecturer at the University of Manchester, settling permanently in England in 1970. He was professor of Modern German Literature at the University of East Anglia, and is the author of The Emigrants which won the Berlin Literature Prize, the Literatur Nord Prize and the Johannes Bobrowski Medal, The Rings of Saturn and Austerlitz. W. G. Sebald died in 2001.

Michael Hulse and Simon Rae (Translators)
Michael Hulse teaches poetry at Warwick University and regularly does reading tours in the UK, the US, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and India. He is based in Warwick. Simon Rae is a playwright , novelist and broadcaster (he presented Radio 4's 'Poetry Please' for several years). He lives in Banbury, Oxfordshire. Both Michael Hulse and Simon Rae are published poets and winners of the National Poetry Competition.

Also by W.G. Sebald

See all

Praise for The Emigrants

This deeply moving book shames most writers with its nerve and tact and wonder

Michael Ondaatje

An unconsoling masterpiece...It is exquisitely written and exquisitely translated...a true work of art


A spellbinding account of four Jewish exiles. Its restrained and meditative tone has stayed with me all year

Nicholas Shakespeare

A sober delicate account of displacement, and a classic of its kind. Modest and remote, it resurrects older standards of behaviour, making most contemporary writing seem brash and immature. No book has pleased me more this year

Anita Brookner, Spectator

It's like nothing I've ever read...A book of excruciating sobriety and warmth and a magical concreteness of observation...I know of no book which conveys more about that complex fate, being a European at the end of European civilization. I know of few books written in our time but this one which attains the sublime

Susan Sontag, Times Literary Supplement

The writing seems long distilled, intensely pre-mediated and yet utterly fresh. It has an unaffected earnestness, a loner's earnestness

Karl Miller, Times Literary Supplement

Strange, beautiful and terribly moving

A.S. Byatt

Related titles