Uwe Johnson (1934–1984) grew up in the small town of Anklam in the German state of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern. In 1959, shortly before the publication of his first novel, Speculations About Jakob, in West Germany, he emigrated to West Berlin. Other novels, The Third Book About Achim, An Absence, and Two Views, followed in quick succession. A member of the legendary Gruppe 47, Johnson lived from 1966 until 1968 with his wife and daughter in New York, compiling a high-school anthology of postwar German literature. Anniversaries, his magnum opus in two volumes, is available now from New York Review Books.