Anna MacDonald reviews 'The Book of Dirt' by Bram Presser

Within the last decade, a new wave of writers has emerged whose work is indebted to W.G. Sebald. Sebald’s name, become an adjective (‘Sebaldian’), is often used as shorthand for describing a writer’s approach to history and memory, or his or her use of images alongside word-text, or the presence of a peripatetic narrator, or the rejection of conventional generic categories such as ‘fiction’ and ‘non-fiction’. Edmund de Waal, Valeria Luiselli, Teju Cole, Jáchym Topol, Erwin Mortier, and Katherine Brabon, to name a few, have all been critically associated with the German author.

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Published in November 2017, no. 396

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