Walter Kempowski

Published: 7 November 2019
Paperback, B Format
129x198mm, 240 pages
ISBN: 9781783783533

Other Editions


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Published: 1 November 2018
Hardback, Demy HB
138x216mm, 240 pages
ISBN: 9781783783526

Ebook Available

About the author

Image of Walter Kempowski

Walter Kempowski (1929-2007) was one of Germany's most important post-war writers. He settled after the war in Hamburg, but on returning to his home town of Rostock in the late 1940s he was sentenced to 25 years in prison for espionage by a Soviet military tribunal, of which he served eight years, in Bautzen. His first success as an author was the autobiographic novel Tadellöser & Wolff (1971) part of his acclaimed series of novels German Chronicles. In the 1980s he began work on an immense project, Echo Soundings, gathering together first hand accounts, diaries, letters and memoirs of the second world war, which he collated and curated into ten volumes published over 20 years, and which is considered a modern classic. Swansong 1945, published in Germany in 2005, and translated into English here for the first time, is the final volume of that work. More about the author


Homeland walks a tightrope between black humour and horror [and] the past bleeds, unasked and largely unremarked, into the present; in the end, neither German suffering nor German guilt can be suppressed’ Melissa Harrison



Homeland's heart is a pathos-filled black comedy of errors ... this deceptively slight novel's greatest attraction is how its characters live with history as something real, something you can touch’ Julian Evans

A gemBook of the Year

A revelatory odyssey[,] the evidence of the Second World War is all too near the surface physically and psychologically, as German tourists self-consciously adjust their behaviour towards the Poles. Kempowski's artfully naïve style delivers wince-making moments of sly satire... Darkly excellentDavid Mills

A truly remarkable work... The late Walter Kempowski was a master of simple, emotionally charged storytelling, and this polished gem deserves to earn him a large posthumous readership’ Max Davidson

Kempowski is a master of the art of writing simply and with admirable brevity while channelling big themes and confronting some of the most important issues arising from our history. Homeland is elegantly written, brilliantly sharp-witted and thought provoking.... An eye-opening and very memorable read... Credit to Charlotte Collins for a wonderful translationPaul Burke

‘A subtly devastating portrait of how a life can be defined by memories of past suffering, even when those memories appear to be submerged under a calm surface’ Lucian Robinson

‘Kempowski's laconic, all-knowing voice...is impressively in evidence here in Charlotte Collins's nuanced, ironic translation...Poised and well observed, Homeland is remarkable, a very human narrative featuring a likeable Everyman. For all the robust humour, there are moments of dazzling clarity capable of turning the heartiest laugh into a sudden gasp of empathy...fresh, wise, very funny and intuitiveEileen Battersby

‘This elegant and unsettling novel about the legacy of Nazi Germany was first published in Germany in 1992 and appears in English for the first time in an excellent, readable translationBook of the Year selected by James Marriott

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