A Sorrow Beyond Dreams
A Life Story
Author: Peter Handke; Introduction by Jeffrey Eugenides; Translated from the German by Ralph Manheim
Nobel Prize winner Peter Handke--“the extravagantly talented Austrian playwright of chutzpah, novelist of sensibility, poet of linguistic games” (Kirkus)--ponders the life and early death of his mother
"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, 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).
Farrar, Straus and Giroux
In The News
“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