THE LAST DAYS OF MANKIND IN ENGLISH ABOUT
Michael Russell, the translator of Die letzten Tage der Menschheit, is a writer with an extensive background in television drama in Britain and Ireland; he also worked for Yorkshire Television as a script editor and producer. In another life he studied English and Medieval Languages at Oxford. He is the author of the successful 'Stefan Gillespie' historical detective novels, 'The City of Shadows' and 'The City of Strangers', set in Ireland in the 1930s and 1940s, and in many of the cities that played an important part in the lead up to the Second World War and the war itself: Dublin, Danzig, New York, Lisbon, Berlin, London, Rome and, naturally enough, Vienna.
'The City of Shadows' was listed for a Crime Writers' Association 'John Creasey Award' for the best first-published novel of 2012/13. 'The City of Strangers' was published in November 2013 and was quickly in the Sunday Times top twenty paperback fiction chart.
THE CITY OF SHADOWS
THE CITY OF STRANGERS
This translation first saw breath a long way from Vienna, on the western slopes of the Wicklow Mountains. It would not be here without the work and dedication of Cordelia von Klot, an artist and a perceptive translator in her own right, who happened to be my neighbour along a thinly populated rural boreen above Baltinglass. Neither could this version of Kraus's play have come into being without the inspirational knowledge and passion shared with me by Jared Armstrong when I was writing a screenplay about the life of David Josef Bach, the Viennese critic, musical impressario and endlessly energetic facilitator of all the arts in inter-war Vienna. It was in David Bach's company that I first trod the streets of the 1920s and 1930s city, and first encountered the extraordinary writer who was Karl Kraus. I think it must have been when he cut us both dead in the Café Museum, because of something complimentary (but not complimentary enough) that David Bach had written about him!