Funeral for a Dog
2013 Longlist

Funeral for a Dog

Translated from the original German by Ross Benjamin
artwork-image

ABOUT
THE BOOK

Journalist Daniel Mandelkern leaves Hamburg on assignment to interview Dirk Svensson, a reclusive children’s book author who lives alone on the Italian side of Lake Lugano with his three-legged dog. Mandelkern has been quarreling with his wife (who is also his editor); he suspects she has other reasons for sending him away. After stumbling on a manuscript of Svensson’s about a complicated ménage à trois, Mandelkern is plunged into mysteries past and present. Rich with anthropological and literary allusion, this prize-winning debut set in Europe, Brazil, and New York, tells the parallel stories of two writers struggling with the burden of the past and the uncertainties of the future.

Funeral for a Dog won the prestigious Uwe-Johnson Prize, and critics raved: “Pletzinger’s debut is a real smash hit. It’s been a long time since a young German writer has thrown himself into the hurly-burly of life and literature with so much intelligence and bravado” (Wolfgang Hobel, Der Spiegel).

 

Born in 1975, Thomas Pletzinger has won several awards for his writing, including fellowships and teaching positions at the University of Iowa, New York University, and Grinnell College. He lives in Berlin.

ABOUT
THE TRANSLATOR Ross
Benjamin

Ross Benjamin is a translator of German-language literature and a writer living in Nyack, New York.His translations include Friedrich Hölderlin’s Hyperion (Archipelago Books, 2008), Kevin Vennemann’s Close to Jedenew (Melville House, 2008),  Joseph Roth’s Job (Archipelago, 2010), Clemens J. Setz’s Indigo (Liveright/Norton, 2014), and Daniel Kehlmann’s You Should Have Left (Pantheon, 2017) and Tyll (Pantheon, 2020). He is currently at work on a translation of  Franz Kafka’s complete Diaries, to be published by Schocken Books. He is a 2015 Guggenheim Fellow. His translation of Tyll has been shortlisted for the 2020 International Booker Prize. He was awarded the 2010 Helen and Kurt Wolff Translator’s Prize for his rendering of Michael Maar’s Speak, Nabokov (Verso Books, 2009), a 2012 National Endowment for the Arts Literature Fellowship to translate Clemens J. Setz’s The Frequencies, and a commendation from the judges of the 2012 Schlegel-Tieck Prize for his translation of Thomas Pletzinger’s Funeral for a Dog (W.W. Norton and Company, 2011). His literary criticism has appeared in The Times Literary Supplement, Bookforum, The Nation, and other publications. He was a 2003–2004 Fulbright Scholar in Berlin and is a graduate of Vassar College.

 

Ross Benjamin is a translator of German-language literature and a writer living in Nyack, New York.His translations include Friedrich Hölderlin’s Hyperion (Archipelago Books, 2008), Kevin Vennemann’s Close to Jedenew (Melville House, 2008),  Joseph Roth’s Job (Archipelago, 2010), Clemens J. Setz’s Indigo (Liveright/Norton, 2014), and Daniel Kehlmann’s You Should Have Left (Pantheon, 2017) and Tyll (Pantheon, 2020). He is currently at work on a translation of  Franz Kafka’s complete Diaries, to be published by Schocken Books. He is a 2015 Guggenheim Fellow. His translation of Tyll has been shortlisted for the 2020 International Booker Prize. He was awarded the 2010 Helen and Kurt Wolff Translator’s Prize for his rendering of Michael Maar’s Speak, Nabokov (Verso Books, 2009), a 2012 National Endowment for the Arts Literature Fellowship to translate Clemens J. Setz’s The Frequencies, and a commendation from the judges of the 2012 Schlegel-Tieck Prize for his translation of Thomas Pletzinger’s Funeral for a Dog (W.W. Norton and Company, 2011). His literary criticism has appeared in The Times Literary Supplement, Bookforum, The Nation, and other publications. He was a 2003–2004 Fulbright Scholar in Berlin and is a graduate of Vassar College.

 

NOMINATING LIBRARY COMMENTS

Funeral for a Dog, the fascinating and inventive debut of Thomas Pletzinger, won the prestigious Uwe-Johnson Prize. This formally innovative and intellectual novel tells the old story of yearning for happiness and longing for love with linguistic finesse in a new way.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

Date published
06/03/2008
Country
Germany
Original Language
German
Publisher
W. W. Norton
Translator
Ross Benjamin
Translation
Translated from the original German by Ross Benjamin

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