"The four long narratives in The Emigrants appear at first to be straightforward biographies of elderly Germans in exile. Sebald reconstructs the lives of a painter, a doctor, a teacher, and his own great-uncle Ambrose. Following (literally) in their footsteps, the narrator retraces routes of exile from Lithuania to London, from Munich to Manchester, from the German provinces to Switzerland, France, New York, Constantinople, and Jerusalem. Combining documentary with fiction, Sebald exerts a new magic, and as he puts the question to realism, the four stories merge into one unfathomable requiem. "If you are completely new to Sebald, you should probably start with his early masterpiece, The Emigrants." -Michael Dirda, The Washington Post "An astonishing masterpiece-perfect while being unlike any book one has ever read." -Susan Sontag "Sublime." -Cynthia Ozick, The New Republic "Most writers, even good ones, write of what can be written. The very greatest write of what cannot be written. I think of Akhmatova and Primo Levi, for example, and of W. G. Sebald." -The New York Times "Sebald is a rare and elusive species, but still, he is an easy read, just as Kafka is. He is an addiction, and once buttonholed by his books, you have neither the wish nor the will to tear yourself away." -Anthony Lane, The New Yorker"