Sebald's fascinating “nonfiction” books, The Emigrants (1996) and The Rings of Saturn (1998), earned the German writer a highly regarded if controversial reputation here in the United States. Part memoir and part invention, Sebald's first true novel comes replete with photographs and documents to document the narrator's travels in Italy with Stendhal, Casanova, and Kafka. Sebald strives to blur genres, and in Vertigo creates another intriguing hybrid of forms.
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