Endless Flight: The Life of Joseph Roth (Granta Books, 2022) travels with Roth from his childhood in the town of Brody on the eastern edge of the Austro-Hungarian Empire to an unsettled life spent roaming Europe between the wars, including spells in Vienna, Paris and Berlin. His decline mirrored the collapse of civilized Europe: in his last peripatetic decade, he opposed Nazism in exile from Germany, his wife succumbed to schizophrenia and he died an alcoholic on the eve of WWII.
Exploring the role of Roth's absent father in his imaginings, his attitude to his Jewishness and his restless search for home, Keiron Pim's gripping account of Roth's chaotic life speaks powerfully to us in our era of uncertainty, refugee crises and rising ethno-nationalism. Published as Roth's works rapidly gain new readers and recognition, Endless Flight delivers a visceral yet sensitive portrait of his quest for belonging, and a riveting understanding of the brilliance and beauty of his work.
Nataliya Shpylova-Saeed has a Ph.D. in Slavic languages and literatures (Indiana University, 2022).