The Book of Words

The Book of Words

by Jenny Erpenbeck
     
 

A searing novella about coming of age in a land of tyranny, by one of Germany's most brilliant young authors.

In The Book of Words, Jenny Erpenbeck captures with amazing virtuosity the inner life of a young girl who survives the totalitarian regime of a curiously unnamed South American country (most likely Argentina during it "dirty war"). RaisedSee more details below

Overview

A searing novella about coming of age in a land of tyranny, by one of Germany's most brilliant young authors.

In The Book of Words, Jenny Erpenbeck captures with amazing virtuosity the inner life of a young girl who survives the totalitarian regime of a curiously unnamed South American country (most likely Argentina during it "dirty war"). Raised by parents whose real identity ends up shocking her, the girl comes of age in a country where gunshots are mistaken for blown tires, innocent citizens are dragged off buses, and tortured and disappeared friends and family return to visit her from the dead.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly

German author Erpenbeck (The Old Child & Other Stories) observes the machinations of a repressive political regime through the eyes of an adolescent girl in this slim but dense novella. The story is set in an unnamed tropical capital where the sun always shines (probably Argentina, the translator notes) and narrated by a girl who parrots what she hears from her parents, emigrants from a snowy faraway place very much like Germany: her father is a highly placed minister whose job is to "maintain an equilibrium," that is, to torture people; and her mother is a pampered homemaker who prefers to insulate herself from reality. The young narrator begins to notice how things are changing: shops are closed up, the railroad is abolished, food is rationed and people in her life begin to disappear or are detained and abused by the police. Half-truths, hearsay and speculation form the slippery foundation of the narrator's knowledge, giving readers an intriguing vantage point from which to view a country in turmoil. (Dec.)

Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780811217064
Publisher:
New Directions Publishing Corporation
Publication date:
12/30/2007
Series:
New Directions Paperbook Ser., #1092
Pages:
96
Sales rank:
1,388,359
Product dimensions:
5.10(w) x 7.80(h) x 0.40(d)

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