The magnum opus of 2004 Nobel laureate Elfriede Jelinek—a spectral journey through the catastrophic history embedded in the landscape of Austria
The Alpenrose is a mountain resort nestled in Austria’s scenic landscape among historic churches and castles. It is a vacation idyll that attracts tourists from all over Europe. It is also a mass burial site.
Amid the snow-topped peaks and panoramic vistas, ghosts haunt the forest: Edgar Gstranz, a young skier who died in a car crash; Gudrun Bichler, a philosophy student who committed suicide in her bathtub; and Karin Frenzel, a widow who (perhaps) died in a bus accident. As the three slip in and out of the hotel, engaging unsuspecting tourists and seeking a way to return to life, the soil begins to crack under their feet as the dead of the Holocaust awaken: zombies determined to exact their revenge.
Scrupulously rendered for the first time in English by Gitta Honegger, The Children of the Dead takes readers on a mind-bending ride through time, space, and memory. Concocted from experimental theater, splatter film, Gothic literature, philosophy, religion, and more, Jelinek’s phantasmagorical masterwork is a fierce confrontation with our fraught legacies in the name of the innocent dead.
Elfriede Jelinek (b. 1946), an Austrian poet, playwright, novelist, and activist, received the 2004 Nobel Prize in Literature. Her numerous works include the novel The Piano Teacher. She lives in Vienna. Gitta Honegger is an award-winning translator. She lives in Santa Fe, NM.
“In this monumental zombie novel from Nobel winner Jelinek . . . readers will delight in Jelinek’s wild Joycean wordplay, elegantly translated by Honegger. . . . Full of unexpected beauty, this challenging and troubling story is one to savor.”—Publishers Weekly Praise for Elfriede Jelinek:
“Jelinek’s work is brave, adventurous, witty, antagonistic and devastatingly right about the sorriness of human existence, and her contempt is expressed with surprising chirpiness: it’s a wild ride.”—Lucy Ellmann, The Guardian
“Language and life and its values—its debts and deaths, its violence and vicissitudes, the dense cacophony of its hidden meanings—are at the core of Jelinek’s monumental oeuvre. . . . A Jelinek book is a visceral reading experience, one that provokes a passionate response.”—Rhian Sasseen, The Point
“Like her Austrian forebears, including Karl Kraus, Ingeborg Bachmann, and Peter Handke, Jelinek investigates the uses and abuses of language by staging its semantic slipperiness. . . . As the Nobel Committee put it, Jelinek’s novels and plays ‘reveal the absurdity of society’s clichés and their subjugating power,’ deconstructing and de-naturalizing the—in her words—'trivial myths’ on which large stretches of Western culture are founded.”—Xan Holt, Music and Literature
“Jelinek tells hard stories with a concerned but cold eye. . . . [She writes] with cinematic detail, but few of the sentimental filters or cushions that pop culture movies use to spare the nerves of audiences.”—New York Times
“An intensely learned and literary writer; all her texts live in and through the texts of others. . . What Jelinek has fashioned [in Greed] is an immensely expressive medium that goes to the very edge of coherence, but never beyond it.”—Nicholas Spice, London Review of Books
Sign up for updates on new releases and special offers
Our website offers shipping to the United States and Canada only. For customers in other countries: