Macmillan Childrens Publishing Group
A Sorrow Beyond Dreams

A Sorrow Beyond Dreams

A Life Story

FSG Classics

Peter Handke; Introduction by Jeffrey Eugenides; Translated from the German by Ralph Manheim

Farrar, Straus and Giroux


Trade Paperback

"The Sunday edition of the Kärntner Volkszeitung carried the following item under ‘Local News': ‘In the village of A. (G. township), a housewife, aged 51, committed suicide on Friday night by taking an overdose of sleeping pills.'"

So opens A Sorrow Beyond Dreams, the eminent Austrian novelist and playwright Peter Handke's reckoning with his mother's life—which spanned the rise of the Nazis, World War II, and postwar suffering—and death. Both stark and lyrical, full of love, anger, admiration, and a keen sense of history, this slim book reveals Handke at his most lucid and direct. It is the most moving and accessible work in his distinguished career; it is "indispensable" (Bill Marx, The Boston Globe).


Praise for A Sorrow Beyond Dreams

“Moving and beautifully realized . . . Nearly perfect.” —Richard Locke, The New York Times Book Review

A Sorrow Beyond Dreams is Handke's masterpiece, a short, concentrated, mysteriously exhaustive portrait of his mother, from whom history and circumstance have removed most traces of an identity.” —J. S. Marcus , The New York Review of Books

“In A Sorrow Beyond Dreams, the author confronts his mother's suicide in a compelling story that is ‘like an explanation of a recurrent dream, a dream so vividly expressed it becomes our dream.'” —Chicago Sun-Times

Reviews from Goodreads

About the author

Peter Handke; Introduction by Jeffrey Eugenides; Translated from the German by Ralph Manheim

Peter Handke was born in Griffen, Austria, in 1942. He is the author of many plays and novels, including The Goalie's Anxiety at the Penalty Kick (FSG Classics) and, most recently, Don Juan: His Own Version (FSG, 2011).

Peter Handke

Lillian Birnbaum

Peter Handke

Ralph Manheim

From the Publisher

Farrar, Straus and Giroux

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