A Soldier Once

There was a bit of hoopla a while back when Günter Grass revealed that he had—briefly, in the last months of the Second World War—been a member of the Waffen S.S. rather than simply another young man in feldgrau. The English-language translation of Grass’s memoir is now available in America, and John Irving has written a combination book review and defense of Grass.

Irving is particularly helpful in providing context to Grass’s shift between first and third person within his account, which I found a little too clever—and not a little evasive—when I read it excerpted as a personal history in The New Yorker some time back.

(Source: The New York Times.)