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Effie Briest (Pushkin Press Classics)

Effie Briest (Pushkin Press Classics)

Current price: $17.95
Publication Date: September 3rd, 2024
Pushkin Press Classics
Available for Preorder


An exceptional translation of Fontane's masterpiece: one of the great 19th-century novels of adultery to stand beside Anna Karenina and Madame Bovary

“A stunningly moving, beautiful, witty and urbane novel: I was blown away by it” — Kate Saunders, author of The Secrets of Wishtide

In this witty masterpiece of poetic realism, expertly translated by Hugh Rorrison, Effi Briest shows Theodor Fontane at the height of his talents, as he questions the hypocrisies and destructive values of middle-class society.

Effi Briest is only 17 when she is married off to Baron von Innstetten, travelling to live with him in a provincial town on the remote Baltic coast of Prussia. He is 20 years her senior, an ambitious bureaucrat uninterested in his young wife, and lively Effi becomes increasingly isolated, bored and anxious in her stifling surroundings.

A half-hearted affair with Major Crampas – a manipulative married man with a reputation for womanising – temporarily distracts Effi from her loneliness. But years later, this brief liaison will return to Effi with devastating consequences.

Written with great empathy for his characters, Fontane portrays a woman torn between her own desires and her roles as wife and mother, between her heart and the obligations of social circumstance.

Part of the Pushkin Press Classics series: outstanding classic storytelling from around the world, in a stylishly original series design. From newly rediscovered gems to fresh translations of the world’s greatest authors, this series includes such authors as Stefan Zweig, Hermann Hesse, Ryūnosuke Akutagawa and Gaito Gazdanov.

About the Author

Theodor Fontane (1819-98) was a German novelist and potitical reporter. He began writing novels – now his best known works – at the age of 57. Fontane once said that 'women's stories are generally far more interesting', and the story of Effie Briest (1894), is considered his masterpiece.

Hugh Rorrison was a translator from German.