Posted by Nat Bernstein
Looks of concern and alarm were exchanged around the office when managing editor Becca spontaneously exclaimed, “Oh good, the End of Days has arrived!” Then we saw what she meant.
The End of Daysis an award-winning bestseller by German writer Jenny Erpenbeck, newly translated into English by Susan Bernofsky and released in the last couple weeks from New Directions Publishing. The novel is comprised of five distinct stories following the same protagonist at different stages of her life in twentieth century Europe, each leading to a different untimely death.
The book cover designed by Rodrigo Corral for this English edition is genius: the vintage green cloth binding gives the impression that the volume is from long ago, discovered on a grandparent’s bookshelf or in dusty shop of yellowing, old titles; the stark letters and floral embossing catches the reader’s eye, obscuring at first glance that they take their shape around foretelling tombstone. Chilling, enticing, and beautiful, The End of Days’s design unquestionably suits the contents of the book.
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Nat Bernstein is the former Manager of Digital Content & Media, JBC Network Coordinator, and Contributing Editor at the Jewish Book Council and a graduate of Hampshire College.