May 23, 2011

Marlen Haushofer: The Loft

Posted in Haushofer Marlen at 8:00 am by John Self

Here is a book which gave me as much pleasure as any I’ve read this year, one of those rare novels which worked on me right from the opening sentence and never really let up. My review of it appeared in the The Guardian on Saturday, but I’m creating a post for it here as I don’t want any regular readers of this blog to miss out on such a wonderful work of fiction. Here is a link to the review, detailing the novel’s “disarming honesty, and a lack of vanity, which appeals as only truth can; the book is an act of bearing witness to a woman’s role, to everyday life and how it runs away.”

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9 Comments »

  1. Sigrun Hodne said,

    Read your Guardian text – a beautiful review! I must ask: is this the same Haushofer who wrote The Wall? I read The Wall several years ago, it has got an extraordinary strange plot, and is very well written.
    Thank you for introducing me to The Loft.

  2. John Self said,

    Yes Sigrun, it is the same Haushofer. I must admit that I haven’t read The Wall, but I intend to do so. I hope you like The Loft as much.

  3. Kinga said,

    Ah.

    I am sold.

    I have just added it to my to-read list (currently featuring 702 titles, sigh…)

  4. John Self said,

    Oh that does please me, Kinga – not just that you’re going to read it, but that your to-read list is even longer than mine! (Mine is somewhere over 400, or thereabouts.)

  5. Stewart said,

    I wouldn’t want to speculate as to how many are on mine. I could probably build a house with all the books.

  6. Quink said,

    Congratulations on making the Guardian as a reviewer. Just picked up my paper this evening and read your review (after a double take …). Nice one.

  7. leroyhunter said,

    Yes, congratulations John, and a fine review (particularly liked the “twinkle in her ‘I’”).

    This sounds well worth a look – as a bonus, I’ll now also look up Amanda Prantera’s work.

  8. [...] Marlen Haushofer: The Loft Straight from nowhere, drawn to my attention by the translator’s trusted name, comes the quiet, seething story of an Austrian housewife who discovers her old diaries. It is one of those looping, unified narratives that draws the reader in from seemingly innocuous beginnings: “From our bedroom window we can see a tree that we can never seem to agree about…” In a loft in central Europe in the mid-20th century, all human life is here. [...]

  9. […] Marlen Haushofer: The Loft Straight from nowhere, drawn to my attention by the translator’s trusted name, comes the quiet, seething story of an Austrian housewife who discovers her old diaries. It is one of those looping, unified narratives that draws the reader in from seemingly innocuous beginnings: “From our bedroom window we can see a tree that we can never seem to agree about…” In a loft in central Europe in the mid-20th century, all human life is here. […]


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