Austerlitz Background

Austerlitz Background

Austerlitz was authored by German writer Winfred Georg Maximilian Sebald (W.G. Sebald). This novel tells the story of a young boy, named Jacques Austerlitz, sent to England in 1939 and placed with foster parents. This couple was quick to rid the young boy of memories tied to his past, and most importantly, his origins.

As an adult working as an architectural historian, he finds himself running into his unsettling past despite ignoring earlier clues of his origins, urging him to uncover the truth about who and where he comes from. Just as important is understanding why he experienced the erasure of memories due to his foster parents.

This book was originally published during 2001 and later published during 2002. Sebald's signature writing style centers on themes of memories and memory loss. Such themes are based on personal and interpersonal experiences. Sebald's approach is very sentimental, arousing nostalgic feelings within readers. He makes it clear that the past is at the core of who we are, shaping our complex characters, for better or worse.

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