(Click for larger image)

Konig, Barbara (Translated by Roslyn Theobald). THE BENEFICIARY. Evanston, IL: Northwestern University Press, 1993. Hardcover. First Edition/First Printing. 116 pages. As New/As New.

The author's first novel to be translated into English. One of the finest literary works of the 20th century. The first appearance of the title in English and in the United States. Precedes and should not be confused with the Softcover Edition. Published in a small and limited print run as a hardcover original by a University Press. "Have you been able to exist for 35 years knowing that you aren't really living your own life but someone else's? That's the real question in German writer Konig's thought-provoking novel. Toward the end of the Second World War, a man named Mommsen, an unwilling accomplice in a plot to blow up a bridge, was condemned to be executed. Unbeknownst to him, another prisoner, a chaplain, takes his place in front of the firing squad. Now 35 years later, the chaplain's sacrifice is being memorialized, and reporters, citizens, and even Mommsen's wife want to know: Was it worth it? But Mommsen, busy building the success of his real-estate firm, never gave much thought at all to the chaplain's sacrifice, having seen himself less as a beneficiary than as the man who made another man a hero. Mommsen does eventually do his share of soul-searching but Konig has an ironic touch, neatly steering her terse, episodic narrative away from the maudlin and the simplistic. Readers willing to spend a little time and effort thinking about what makes a life worthwhile will be intrigued" (Publisher's blurb). A masterpiece, this is a "must-have" title for Barbara Konig collectors. This title has been out-of-print as a hardcover for a very long time and is now collectible. This is one of very few copies of the First English-language Edition still available online and has no flaws, a pristine beauty. A very scarce copy thus. One of the finest writers of the 20th century. A flawless copy. (SEE ALSO OTHER BARBARA KONIG TITLE IN OUR CATALOG). ISBN 0810111055. $20.00

This item is available for purchase. This web page was most recently updated on June 01, 2020.