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Hoffman's Hunger by Leon de Winter

Paperback: ISBN: 978 1 59264 211 3     Pages: c.250     US$14.95  UK£9.99  CANADA $14.95
Publication date: October 2007

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Felix Hoffman’s hunger is both physical and emotional. A Dutch diplomat with a checkered career behind him, he is now Ambassador in Prague in the late 1980s; his final posting. In Kafka’s haunted city, Hoffman desperately feeds his bulimia and spends his insomniac nights studying Spinoza and revisiting the traumas of his past.

A child survivor of the Holocaust, Hoffman married and had beloved twin daughters, but a double tragedy has befallen his family; one daughter died as a young girl of leukemia, the other, who became a heroin addict, has committed suicide. This has wrecked Hoffman’s marriage and his life; he has not had one decent night’s sleep since the death of his daughter over twenty years ago, and his constant physical hunger reflects his emotional hunger for truth and understanding. When Carla, a Czech double agent, gets into Hoffman’s bed, political and emotional mayhem ensues.

Hoffman’s past and his present predicament are inextricably bound up with the tormented history of Europe over the fifty years since the Second World War. Like Europe, he is at a crossroads, and the signs point to an uncertain future. With this spellbinding philosophical thriller, a bestseller in Germany, Leon de Winter charts a search for identity which is both personal and political.

Translated from the Dutch by Arnold and Erica Pomerans.

About the Author

Leon de WinterLEON DE WINTER is a prize winning Dutch novelist, born in 1954. He is also an internationally recognized film writer and director. This is his first book to be translated into English.

Author's Website



More Praise:

"De Winter has always been a virtuoso when it comes to constructing a tense plot." -- NRC Handelsblad

"It remains a fact; Leon de Winter is an American amongst the European writers, which means he is one of the most ironic and entertaining authors." -- Neue Zürcher Zeitung

"With Hoffman's Hunger Leon de Winter reaches a high, international level with a literary style in the tradition of Kundera" -- Het Binnenhof


Hoffman's Hunger

The Critics Praise:

"At the heart of this 'philosophical thriller' is the conflict between the instinct to live and the painful, self-destructive guilt of being a survivor."
-- Financial Times

"De Winter excels in his treatment of the central character: the psychological subtlety of Hoffman's suffering, the descriptions of his bingeing and subsequent evacuations, and the parallels between the stagnation of the communist order and Hoffman's digestive stasis."
 -- Financial Times

"Emotional but not too sentimental, funny, and even pretty exciting Hoffman's Hunger is a very good read. Certainly recommended."
-- The Complete Review

"This brilliant psychological thriller has been a smash hit in Europe."
-- The Times, November 2007

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