Irmgard Keun was born in Berlin in 1905. After leaving school and trying her luck as an actress, she began to write in 1929 and found instant success with her early novels, which were blacklisted by the Nazis for their 'immoral' depictions of the Modern Young Woman. From 1936 to 1938 she travelled through Europe with the writer Joseph Roth and published several novels, including Child of All Nations in 1938. Roth died in 1939 and Keun spent the war in Germany, living semi-legally under an assumed name. Following the war, she made a living writing humorous sketches for radio and magazines, published one more novel and had a daughter, whom she brought up alone. At the end of her life, her books gained a new following from a younger generation of feminists. Irmgard Keun died in 1982. Michael Hofmann is the author of several books of poems and a book of criticism, Behind the Lines, and the translator of many modern and contemporary authors, including Joseph Roth. Penguin publish his translations of Kafka's Metamorphosis and Other Stories and Ernst Junger's Storm of Steel.