A Sorrow Beyond Dreams: A Life Story

Category: Book
Introduction By: Eugenides, Jeffrey
By (author): Handke, Peter
Translated By: Manheim, Ralph
Series: Fsg Classics
Audience: general/trade
Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Published: October 2012
Format: Book-paperback
Pages: 96
Size: 8.19in x 5.68in x 0.27in
Our Price:
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Additional Notes

From The Publisher*

"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).

Review Quote*

"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

Biographical Note

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).