Paul Celan was born Paul Ancel of a Jewish family in Romania in 1920. In 1942 his parents were deported and died in an extermination camp. Celan escaped but was in a labour camp until 1944. In 1948 he settled in Paris, where he took up the study of German literature and became a lecturer at the École Normale Supérieur. Paris remained his home until his suicide by drowning in 1970.

"Fairley’s endlessly careful and brilliantly resourceful translations. . . he never fails to address himself to the music of the originals."—Daily Telegraph

"Ian Fairley's accomplished translations of the two last collections. . . widens the readership of this necessary poet."—The Guardian

"Celan pushes language to the limits of expressiveness in these groping, incantatory pieces."—Publisher’s Weekly



"The correspondence includes lovely Sachs poems and interesting accounts of their meeting and of contact with other prominent writers of the time. The introduction and afterword are indispensable, as is the entire book."—Choice