Reading Group ONLINE Book Klub: Jenny Erpenbeck's "Go, Went, Gone"

Book Klub: Jenny Erpenbeck’s “Go, Went, Gone” © Jasmin Krakenberg

Thu, 04/16/2020


Read. Talk. Share.

Cooped up at home and starving for social interaction? Then join our next book club meeting, which we are hosting online this April. Simply send an email to and we will send you the Zoom access code. Let's keep reading and sharing experiences with the material!
Still need to get a hold of the book? Support local businesses! Our community partner Elliott Bay Book Company is now offering home delivery to zip codes 98112, 98122, and 98102 - free in orders over $50! Call at 206-624-6600 or place an order on their website.
The Book Club is free and open to everyone interested, but participants must purchase the individual texts themselves and are expected to have read the title to be discussed prior to the meeting.
Feel free to read this month’s title in its English translation or original German; the discussion will be in English. No registration required.
Jenny Erpenbeck: Go, Went, Gone (New York: New Directions, 2017, 320 pages)
In this timely and compelling novel, Jenny Erpenbeck tells a tale of the refugee crisis in contemporary Berlin. Her protagonist, Richard, a widowed and retired Classics professor, undertakes a project to interview refugees from Africa who have staged a hunger strike to protest their legal limbo. As the story unfolds, tackling the issue of human displacement, it because clear that the engagement with “the Other” inevitably entails a reckoning with the self. And this is what makes the novel so strong. It is a passionate contribution to the debate on race, privilege, and nationality and a nuanced examination of an aging man’s quest to find meaning in life.
About the author:

Jenny Erpenbeck was born in East Germany. After graduating from high school, she first trained as a bookbinder and then studied theatre science and music stage direction. While working as an opera director, she debuted her short novel Story of the Old Child, which was followed by other literary publications, including novels, short stories, and stage plays. Her novel The End of Days has been awarded several prizes, including the Independent Foreign Fiction Prize in 2015. Go, Went, Gone was shortlisted for the German Book Prize 2015 and received the Thomas Mann Prize 2016.