book cover of The Emigrants
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The Emigrants

(1996)
A novel by

 
 
The Emigrants is a meditation on memory and loss. Sebald re-creates the lives of four exiles--five if you include his oblique self-portrait--through their own accounts, others' recollections and pictures and found objects. But he brings these men before our eyes only to make them fade away, "longing for extinction." Two were eventual suicides, another died in an asylum, the fourth still lived under a "poisonous canopy" more than 40 years after his parents' death in Nazi Germany.

Sebald's own longing is for communion. En route to Ithaca (the real upstate New York location but also the symbolic one), he comes to feel "like a travelling companion of my neighbour in the next lane." After the car speeds away--"the children pulling clownish faces out of the rear window--I felt deserted and desolate for a time." Sebald's narrative is purposely moth-holed (butterfly-ridden, actually--there's a recurring Nabokov-with-a-net type), an escape from the prison-house of realism. According to the author, his Uncle Ambros's increasingly improbable tales were the result of "an illness which causes lost memories to be replaced by fantastic inventions." Luckily for us, Sebald seems to have inherited the same syndrome. --Kerry Fried

Genre: Historical

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Used availability for W G Sebald's The Emigrants

Hardback Editions

October 1996 : USA Hardback
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Title: The Emigrants
Author(s): W G Sebald, Michael Hulse
ISBN: 0-8112-1338-2 / 978-0-8112-1338-7 (USA edition)
Publisher: New Directions
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA   Amazon AU   


May 1996 : UK Hardback
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Title: The Emigrants
Author(s): W G Sebald
ISBN: 1-86046-127-1 / 978-1-86046-127-9 (UK edition)
Publisher: The Harvill Press
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA   Amazon AU   


Paperback Editions

November 2016 : USA Paperback
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Title: The Emigrants (New Directions Paperbook)
Author(s): W G Sebald
ISBN: 0-8112-2614-X / 978-0-8112-2614-1 (USA edition)
Publisher: New Directions
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA   


2002 : UK Paperback
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Title: The Emigrants
Author(s): W G Sebald
ISBN: 0-09-944888-2 / 978-0-09-944888-4 (UK edition)
Publisher: Vintage Classics
Availability: Amazon UK   Amazon CA   Amazon AU   


September 1997 : USA Paperback
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Title: The Emigrants
Author(s): W G Sebald
ISBN: 0-8112-1366-8 / 978-0-8112-1366-0 (USA edition)
Publisher: New Directions
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA   


July 1997 : UK Paperback
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Title: The Emigrants
Author(s): W G Sebald
ISBN: 1-86046-349-5 / 978-1-86046-349-5 (UK edition)
Publisher: Vintage
Availability: Amazon UK   Amazon CA   


1996 : UK Paperback
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Title: The Emigrants
Author(s): W g Sebald
ISBN: 1-86046-128-X / 978-1-86046-128-6 (UK edition)
Publisher: The Harvill Press
Availability: Amazon UK   Amazon CA   


Audio Editions

April 2018 : USA Audio CD
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Title: The Emigrants
Author(s): W G Sebald
ISBN: 1-5436-7206-X / 978-1-5436-7206-0 (USA edition)
Publisher: Brilliance Audio
Availability: Amazon   Amazon CA   


April 2018 : USA MP3 CD
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Title: Emigrants, The
Author(s): W G Sebald
ISBN: 1-5436-7207-8 / 978-1-5436-7207-7 (USA edition)
Publisher: Brilliance Audio
Availability: Amazon   Amazon CA   


February 2018 : Canada Audio edition
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Title: The Emigrants
Author(s): W G Sebald
Publisher: Brilliance Audio
Availability: Amazon CA   


February 2018 : UK Audio edition
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Title: The Emigrants
Author(s): W G Sebald
Publisher: Brilliance Audio
Availability: Amazon UK   


Kindle Editions

November 2016 : USA Kindle edition
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Title: The Emigrants (New Directions Paperbook Book 853)
Author(s): W G Sebald
Publisher: New Directions
Availability: Amazon   


November 2013 : Australia, UK Kindle edition
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Title: The Emigrants
Author(s): W G Sebald
Publisher: Vintage Digital
Availability: Amazon UK   Amazon AU