Europe Central

Winner, National Book Awards 2005 for Fiction

Europe Central by William T. Vollmann book cover
ISBN 9780143036593
William T. Vollmann author photo, 2005
William T. Vollmann

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A mesmerizing series of intertwined stories that compare and contrast the moral decisions made by various figures associated with the warring authoritarian cultures of Germany and the Soviet Union in the twentieth century.

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Europe Central is a half-continent of fictions—sketches, stories, novellas, a full-length novel--reimagining a World War II where Americans are a distant presence. Like an all-hearing intelligence agent, Vollmann occupies the minds of Germans and Russians, artists and generals, victims and torturers in impossible ethical quandaries. Scrupulously researched, rigorously designed, scarifingly voiced, this omnibus is heroic art, the writer’s courageous immersion in totalitarian ugliness to retrieve forgotten moral heroes. Full of terror and pity, Vollmann’s narratives go back beyond tragedy to the historical mastery of epic.