In 1905 Robert Walser packed his bags and left behind his native Switzerland for the bustling metropolis of Berlin. The fledgling author, twenty-seven years of age, had just published his first book of fiction, Fritz Kochers Aufsätze (Fritz Kocher’s Essays), and moving to Berlin was the obvious next step for him to take in the pursuit of a proper literary career. Just a year before he had been supporting himself as an on-again-off-again bank clerk and copyist, but now he was looking to become a proper novelist, an endeavor that would require all his strength.
The Wall Street Journal asked 50 “friends” to recommend books that they enjoyed over the past year. Three NYRB Classics are included on that list.