W.G. Sebald was born in Wertach im Allgau, Germany in 1944. He studied German language and literature in Freiburg, Switzerland and Manchester. In 1966 he took up a position as an assistant lecturer at the University of Manchester, and settled permanently in England in 1970. He was Professor of European Literature at the University of East Anglia, and the author of Austerlitz; The Emigrants, which won a series of major awards, including the Berlin Literature Prize, the Heinrich Boll Prize, the Heinrich Heine Prize and the Joseph Breitbach Prize; The Rings of Saturn; and Vertigo, among other important works.

W.G. Sebald wrote in his native tongue, German, and worked closely with his translators, especially Michael Hulse and Anthea Bell, to translate his work into English. He died in December 2001. He is widely regarded as one of the most important post-War European authors, and his work has proved decisively influential on numerous artists, writers and film-makers.


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