James Wright (1927–1980) was born in Martins Ferry, Ohio, the son of a factory worker. After graduating from high school in 1946, he was stationed with the United States Army in occupied Japan. He attended Kenyon College on the G.I. Bill, then traveled as a Fulbright fellow to Austria, where he studied the work Theodor Storm and Georg Trakl at the University of Vienna. In 1957, Wright’s first book of poems, The Green Wall, was chosen by W.H. Auden for the Yale Younger Poets Series. Wright was elected a fellow of the Academy of American Poets in 1971 and in 1972 he received the Pulitzer Prize for poetry for his Collected Poems.
Theodor Storm produced some of 19th-century Germany’s finest short fiction. Here American poet James Wright provides limpid translations of a selection of Storm’s best tales. The title novella—recounting a young man’s struggle to protect his village against the sea storms that beset it—is at once a chilling supernatural tale, a domestic drama, and the record of a spiritual journey.