Skip to main content
Macmillan Childrens Publishing Group
The Left-Handed Woman

The Left-Handed Woman

A Novel

Peter Handke; Translated from the German by Ralph Manheim

Picador

BUY THE BOOK

A young woman faces loneliness and alienation on a journey to find her own life outside of being a wife and mother in Nobel Prize-winning author Peter Handke’s The Left-Handed Woman.

One evening, when Marianne and her husband, Bruno, are dining out together to celebrate his return from a business trip, Marianne listens to him speak and realizes suddenly yet finally that Bruno will leave her. Whether at that moment, or in years to come, she will be deserted. And instinctively Marianne knows she must fend for herself and her young son now, before that time comes.

She sends Bruno away and settles down to a life alone, at first experiencing moments of panic, restlessly wandering in rooms grown stifling. The stillness of the house wears her down, and she starts taking long walks, or visiting with her close friend, Franziska.

Gradually, what began as a selfish escape from the prospects of the future becomes in fact liberation. The environment she'd always hated--a no man's land of identical houses, with all curtains drawn--recedes; her relationships with those dear to her become less threatening, less necessary; and Marianne finds a new pattern for her life and the strength to go on alone.

Nobel Prize in Literature

The Left-Handed Woman

She was thirty and lived in a terraced bungalow colony on the south slope of a low mountain range in western Germany, just above the fumes of a big city. She had brown hair and gray eyes, which sometimes...

Reviews from Goodreads

Peter Handke; Translated from the German by Ralph Manheim

Peter Handke was born in Griffen, Austria, in 1942. A novelist, playwright, and translator, he is the author of such acclaimed works as The Moravian Night, A Sorrow Beyond Dreams, The Goalie's Anxiety at the Penalty Kick, and Repetition. The recipient of multiple literary awards, including the Franz Kafka Prize and the International Ibsen Award, Handke is also a filmmaker. He wrote and directed adaptations of his novels The Left-Handed Woman and Absence, and co-wrote the screenplays for Wim Wenders’ Wrong Movie and Wings of Desire. He won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 2019.

image of Peter Handkeo
Lillian Birnbaum

Read Author Bio at Britannica

Picador

Latest on Facebook

LATEST ON TWITTER