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The Wall by Marlen Haushofer
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The Wall

$17.96 USD

Retail price (USD): $19.95

Discount: 10%

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Narrator Kathe Mazur
Translator Shaun Whiteside
Length 9 hours 15 minutes
Language English
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The 2012 adaptation of this classic dystopian novel is directed by Julian Roman Pölsler and stars internationally renowned actress Martina Gedeck.

"I can allow myself to write the truth; all the people for whom I have lied throughout my life are dead…" writes the heroine of Marlen Haushofer's The Wall, a quite ordinary, unnamed middle-aged woman who awakens to find she is the last living human being. Surmising her solitude is the result of a military experiment gone awry, she begins the terrifying work of not only survival but also self-renewal. The Wall is at once a simple and moving journal—with talk of potatoes and beans, of hoping for a calf, of counting matches, of forgetting the taste of sugar and the use of one's name—and a disturbing meditation on twentieth-century history.

Marlen Haushofer (1920–1970) was born in Frauenstein, a region in Upper Austria. She attended Catholic boarding school in Linz and studied German literature in Vienna and Graz. Her adult life was spent in Steyr, an old industrial city with a strong working class culture and a history of militancy. She published the novella The Fifth Year in 1952 and earned her first literary award in 1953. Her first novel, A Handful of Life, was published in 1955. The Wall, published in 1962, considered her greatest literary achievement, received the Arthur Schnitzler Prize in 1963. The Wall is currently recognized for its important place in traditions of feminist fiction. Haushofers’s last novel, The Attic, was published in 1969. Her last short story collection, Terrible Faithfulness, earned her the Grand Austrian State Prize for Literature. Her work has been translated into several European languages, but The Wall is her only work available in English.

Kathe Mazur has narrated many audiobooks, winning the prestigious Audie Award for best narration in 2014, being named a finalist for the Audie Award in 2013 and 2015, and winning several AudioFile Earphones Awards. As an actress, she can be seen as DDA Hobbs on The Closer and in the upcoming Major Crimes. She has worked extensively in film, theater, and television, including appearances on Grey’s Anatomy, Private Practice, House, Brothers and Sisters, Criminal Minds: Suspect Behavior, ER, Monk, and many others.

Shaun Whiteside, originally from Northern Ireland, graduated with a first in modern languages from King’s College, Cambridge, and translates from German, French, Italian, and Dutch, having previously worked as a business journalist and television producer. His translation of Magdalena the Sinner by Lilian Faschinger won the 1996 Schlegel-Tieck Prize. He is a former chair of the Translators Association and lives in London with his wife and son.

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Reviews

The Wall is a wonderful novel. It is not often that you can say only a woman could have written this book, but women in particular will understand the heroine’s loving devotion to the details of making and keeping life, every day felt as a victory against everything that would like to undermine and destroy. It is as absorbing as Robinson Crusoe.”

The Wall is gripping, please trust me, though why is still somewhat of a mystery to me. How does Haushofer make a woman’s minute reflections of being alone so fascinating? Haushofer writes cleanly and brilliantly, with masterful precision.”

“The minimalist plot is enhanced by rich description and wise insight, and the translation succeeds in capturing the author’s fluid, lyrical style. Recommended for general readers.”

“Intensely introspective, probing as deeply into the psyche of the woman as it does into her world, which circumstances have placed in a new light. Subtly surreal, by turns claustrophobic and exhilarating, fixated with almost religious fervor on banal detail, this is a disturbing yet rewarding tale in which survival and femininity are strikingly merged.”

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