International IMPAC Dublin Literary Awards Best Novel (nominee)
Provincial Guldenberg is still reeling from World War II when a flood of German refugees arrives from the east, Bernhard Haber's family among them. Life is hard enough - Bernard's father has lost an arm and his carpenter's income. But added to this injury comes an accumulation of insults, as the upright town turns hostile toward the newcomers. After a string of mysterious losses - from the killing of the boy's dog to the unexplained death of his father - Bernhard is set on extracting revenge. Rich with psychological insight, Christopher Hein's acclaimed novel tells Bernhard's story across nearly fifty years, chronicling his remarkable rise from victimized outsider to Guldenberg's most prominent burgher.What began as a geographic dislocation evolves into a personal quest: the thirst for vengeance yields to the deeper need for a home and settling down proves more important than settling grudges. As the socialist state gives way to reunification and capitalism of the 1990's, Hein's masterful, multivoiced narration charts the transformation not just of one man but of an entire nation struggling to leave behind and claim a home.
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Used availability for Christoph Hein's Settlement
July 2008 : USA Hardback