The Emigrants is divided into four sections, each one documenting the life of a man no longer living in the country of his birth, men who in the twilight of their lives can find no peace with the past, no happiness in the present. While the book is categorized as fiction, each story reads like a personal narrative, an intimate encounter between the narrator and his subjects.

The Emigrants

To enhance the illusion that these stories are true, Sebald had embedded black and white photos throughout the narrative. This allows the reader to further peer into the character’s lives and glimpse more clearly the worlds in which they lived.

The prose throughout The Emigrants is stunningly rhythmical, containing long flowing descriptive sentences punctuated by shorter more precise ones. However, the strength of this novel is in its pervasive theme of memory.

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