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About the Author: Friedrich Dürrenmatt

Dürrenmatt was born in the Emmental (canton of Bern), the son of a Protestant pastor. His grandfather Ulrich Dürrenmatt was a conservative politician. The family moved to Bern in 1935. Dürrenmatt began to study philosophy and German language and literature at the University of Zurich in 1941, but moved to the University of Bern after one semester. In 1943 he decided to become an author and dramatist and dropped his academic career. In 1945-46, he wrote his first play "It is written". On October 11 1946 he married the actress Lotti Geissler. She died on January 16 1983 and Dürrenmatt married again in 1984 to another actress, Charlotte Kerr.

He was a proponent of epic theater whose plays reflected the recent experiences of World War II. The politically active author gained fame largely due to his avant-garde dramas, philosophically deep crime novels, and often macabre satire. One of his leading sentences was: "A story is not finished, until it has taken the worst turn". Dürrenmatt was a member of the Gruppe Olten.


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Goodreads rating: 3.61

, by Diogenes Verlag AG,Switzerland

ISBN10: 3257216629 | ISBN13: 9783257216622

In Friedrich Dürrenmatt’s experimental thriller The Assignment, the wife of a psychiatrist has been raped and killed near a desert ruin in North Africa. Her husband hires a woman named F. to reconstruct the unsolved crime in a documentary film. F. is soon unwittingly thrust into a paranoid world of international espionage where everyone is watched—including the watchers. After discovering a recent photograph of the supposed murder victim happily reunited with her husband, F. becomes trapped in an apocalyptic landscape riddled with political intrigue, crimes of mistaken identity, and terrorism.
F.’s labyrinthine quest for the truth is Dürrenmatt’s fictionalized warning against the dangers of a technologically advanced society that turns everyday life into one of constant scrutiny. Joel Agee’s elegant translation will introduce a fresh generation of English-speaking readers to one of European literature’s masters of language, suspense, and dystopia.

“The narrative is accelerated from the start. . . . As the novella builds to its horripilating climax, we realize the extent to which all values have thereby been inverted. The Assignment is a parable of hell for an age consumed by images.”—New York Times Book Review

“His most ambitious book . . . dark and devious . . . almost obsessively drawn to mankind’s most fiendish crimes.”—Chicago Tribune

“A tour-de-force . . . mesmerizing.”—Village Voice

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