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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 first print run as a hardcover original only by a University Press. The First Edition is now scarce. Presents Barbara Konig's "The Beneficiary" in a felicitous English translation. Widely acknowledged to be her masterpiece. "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). An absolute "must-have" title for Barbara Konig collectors. This title is a late-modern classic. This is one of few copies of the First Hardcover Edition/First Printing (American) still available online and is in especially fine condition: Clean, crisp, and bright, a pristine beauty. Please note: Copies available online have serious flaws, are subsequent printings, or are remainder-marked. This is surely an accessible and lovely alternative. A scarce copy thus. One of the finest writers of the 20th century. A fine copy. (SEE ALSO OTHER BARBARA KONIG TITLE IN OUR CATALOG). ISBN 0810111055. $20.00

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