A Gushing Fountain

A Novel

Translated by David Dollenmayer
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About The Book

Appearing for the first time in English, this masterful novel by one of the foremost figures of postwar German literature is an indelible portrait of Nazism slowly overtaking and poisoning a small town. Semi-autobiographical, it is also a remarkably vivid account of a childhood fraught with troubles, yet full of remembered love and touched by miracle.

In a provincial town on Lake Constance, Johann basks in the affection of the colorful staff and regulars at the Station Restaurant. Though his parents struggle to make ends meet, around him the world is rich in mystery: the attraction of girls; the power of words and his gift for music; his rivalry with his best friend, Adolf, son of the local Brownshirt leader; a circus that comes to town bringing Anita, whose love he and Adolf compete to win. But in these hard times, with businesses failing all around them and life savings gone in an instant, people whisper that only Hitler can save them. As the Nazis gradually infiltrate the churches, the school, the youth organizations—even the restaurant—and come to power, we see through Johann’s eyes how the voices of dissent are silenced one by one, until war begins the body count that will include his beloved older brother.

Skyhorse Publishing, as well as our Arcade, Yucca, and Good Books imprints, are proud to publish a broad range of books for readers interested in fiction—novels, novellas, political and medical thrillers, comedy, satire, historical fiction, romance, erotic and love stories, mystery, classic literature, folklore and mythology, literary classics including Shakespeare, Dumas, Wilde, Cather, and much more. While not every title we publish becomes a New York Times bestseller or a national bestseller, we are committed to books on subjects that are sometimes overlooked and to authors whose work might not otherwise find a home.

About The Author

Martin Walser, a contemporary of Heinrich Böll, Günther Grass, and Christa Wolf, remains one of Germany’s most prominent and prolific writers. Born in Wasserburg, on Lake Constance, in 1927, he is the author of numerous novels, stories, and plays, including A Gushing Fountain, published by Arcade. Every one of his novels is a bestseller in Germany, and he has won many awards, including the Georg Büchner Award, the Peace Prize of the German Book Trade, and in 2015 the Nietszche Prize for his life’s work. He lives in Überlingen, near Lake Constanace, Germany.

Product Details
  • Publisher: Arcade (April 2015)
  • Length: 368 pages
  • ISBN13: 9781628724240

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Raves and Reviews

"Enthralling and enraging, an important book to read." —Cathleen Schine, New York Review of Books

“Available in English for the first time, this intense novel by distinguished German writer Walser, an intimate tale of a life disrupted by war and corrupted by a maniacal regime, sheds new light on the impact of WWII on Germany’s youngest and most vulnerable citizens."—Booklist

His oeuvre is a monolith towering over Germany's literary landscape. . . . He remains the creator of a singular range of works whose luster will not dull over time."—Pia Reinacher, Weltwoche

“Perpetually underrated . . . Imagine Upton Sinclair who writes like Marilynne Robinson.” —Bruce Allen, Washington Times

“None of the major writers of Walser’s generation, from Grass to Johnson, captures as much of the German republic in their prose as [he] does. . . . This author is like a sponge—he soaks up time and gives it back to his readers.” —Stuttgarter Zeitung

"Martin Walser is in a class with Günther Grass and Max Frisch." —The New York Times

"One of Walser's most beautiful and perhaps his most important novels."—Jörg Magenau. Martin Walser: Eine Biographie

"An objective masterpiece . . . one of the great books of memory of our literature and our century. . . . Walser's prose is radiantly exuberant."—Joachim Kaiser, Süddeutsche Zeitung

"With this fascinating variation on the 'portrait of the artist as a young man,' Walser has given us a superb masterpiece that joins the ranks of great German emancipatory prose."—Ulf Heise, Märkische Allgemeine

"A Gushing Fountain is a panorama of German provincial life in the Third Reich more precise and believable, more fair and sensitive than anything I have read."—Marin Ebel, Rheinischer Merkur

"A Gushing Fountain is a masterpiece of the German language, already strangely distant and a little old-fashioned, as masterpieces probably have to be."—Friedemann Berger, Dresdner Neueste Nachrichten

"Walser's dream construction knows no moral, provides no insight from the standpoint of today. From the depths of time he pulls up the old faces and stories, conscience-free, like real dreams . . . they stand next to one another, stern, unmediated, without commentary. No one is indicted, no one acquitted."—Reinhard Baumgart, Die Zeit

"Enthralling and enraging, an important book to read." —Cathleen Schine, New York Review of Books

“Available in English for the first time, this intense novel by distinguished German writer Walser, an intimate tale of a life disrupted by war and corrupted by a maniacal regime, sheds new light on the impact of WWII on Germany’s youngest and most vulnerable citizens."—Booklist

His oeuvre is a monolith towering over Germany's literary landscape. . . . He remains the creator of a singular range of works whose luster will not dull over time."—Pia Reinacher, Weltwoche

“Perpetually underrated . . . Imagine Upton Sinclair who writes like Marilynne Robinson.” —Bruce Allen, Washington Times

“None of the major writers of Walser’s generation, from Grass to Johnson, captures as much of the German republic in their prose as [he] does. . . . This author is like a sponge—he soaks up time and gives it back to his readers.” —Stuttgarter Zeitung

"Martin Walser is in a class with Günther Grass and Max Frisch." —The New York Times

"One of Walser's most beautiful and perhaps his most important novels."—Jörg Magenau. Martin Walser: Eine Biographie

"An objective masterpiece . . . one of the great books of memory of our literature and our century. . . . Walser's prose is radiantly exuberant."—Joachim Kaiser, Süddeutsche Zeitung

"With this fascinating variation on the 'portrait of the artist as a young man,' Walser has given us a superb masterpiece that joins the ranks of great German emancipatory prose."—Ulf Heise, Märkische Allgemeine

"A Gushing Fountain is a panorama of German provincial life in the Third Reich more precise and believable, more fair and sensitive than anything I have read."—Marin Ebel, Rheinischer Merkur

"A Gushing Fountain is a masterpiece of the German language, already strangely distant and a little old-fashioned, as masterpieces probably have to be."—Friedemann Berger, Dresdner Neueste Nachrichten

"Walser's dream construction knows no moral, provides no insight from the standpoint of today. From the depths of time he pulls up the old faces and stories, conscience-free, like real dreams . . . they stand next to one another, stern, unmediated, without commentary. No one is indicted, no one acquitted."—Reinhard Baumgart, Die Zeit

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