The Book of Words (Paperback)

By Jenny Erpenbeck, Susan Bernofsky (Translated by)

New Directions, 9780811217064, 112pp.

Publication Date: December 17, 2007

List Price: 14.95*
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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.

About the Author

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.

Praise For The Book of Words

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.

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