The Book of Words (Paperback)

The Book of Words By Jenny Erpenbeck, Susan Bernofsky (Translated by) Cover Image

The Book of Words (Paperback)

By Jenny Erpenbeck, Susan Bernofsky (Translated by)


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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 its "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.
Jenny Erpenbeck was born in East Berlin in 1967. New Directions publishes her books The Old Child & Other Stories, The Book of Words, and Visitation, which NPR called "a story of the century as seen by the objects we've known and lost along the way."

Susan Bernofsky is the acclaimed translator of Hermann Hesse, Robert Walser, and Jenny Erpenbeck, and the recipient of many awards, including the Helen and Kurt Wolff Prize and the Hermann Hesse Translation Prize. She teaches literary translation at Columbia University and lives in New York.
Product Details ISBN: 9780811217064
ISBN-10: 081121706X
Publisher: New Directions
Publication Date: December 17th, 2007
Pages: 112
Language: English
Series: New Directions Paperbook
Her restrained unvarnished prose is overwhelming.
— Nicole Krauss

Jenny Erpenbeck should be praised for asking us to learn from the marginalized what the majority apparently will not see.
— London Times Literary Supplement

Jenny Erpenbeck is a rising star of the German literary scene.
— Cosmopolitan