By Elke Schmitter
(Vintage, Paperback, 9780375726149, 160pp.)
Publication Date: December 7, 2004
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An international sensation, Elke Schmitter’s explosive debut novel presents a modern-day twist on Madame Bovary.
Margarethe can remember very clearly the last time she was happy: she was eighteen, prized for her beauty, and swept off her feet by her wealthy, dashing boyfriend. Then he left her. For the last twenty years she has lived in a provincial German town with her dependable husband, her self-directed daughter, and her adoring mother-in-law. Her life has been one of numbing predictability–until she meets Michael, a married man who stirs her from her resignation, delivering her to heights of rapture only to ignite far more destructive passions. An erotic, psychologically charged thriller narrated with chilling dispassion, Mrs. Sartoris opens a bracing portal onto obsession and the crucible of love.
Elke Schmitter was born in 1961 in Krefeld, Germany, and studied philosophy in Munich. As a journalist she writes for Der Spiegel. Her first novel, Mrs. Sartoris, has been translated into thirteen languages. Her second novel, Minor Misdemeanors, was published in Germany in 2002. She lives in Berlin with her family.
“Taut and absorbing. . . . This pulsing psychological portrait . . . is hard not to consume in one sitting.” –The New York Times Book Review
“Outstanding. . . . This cool first-person confessional . . . is a study in inner fragility and surface toughness.” –Ali Smith, The Times Literary Supplement
“Subtle. . . . Clear-eyed. . . . It is certainly a pleasure to read such a well-styled, level-headed novel. . . . It deserves success.” –The Guardian
“Riveting. Schmitter has reworked a great novel into a new and unique shape.” –The Boston Globe