Skip to product information
1 of 1

The Wall - Marlen Haushofer (tr. Shaun Whiteside)

The Wall - Marlen Haushofer (tr. Shaun Whiteside)

Penguin Vintage

Regular price €14,95 EUR
Regular price Sale price €14,95 EUR
Sale Sold out
Shipping calculated at checkout.

Our take

Could a border be a way to separate oneself from the world and lead a life completely free from social pressures? “The Wall”, written by Marlen Haushofer in 1963, two years after the erection of the Berlin Wall, offers a different perspective on boundaries and borders. In this captivating and underappreciated novel, the protagonist finds herself trapped behind an invisible wall somewhere in the Austrian Alps, cut off from the rest of civilization. As she adapts to her solitary existence, she forms an intimate bond with the natural world, relying on her surroundings for survival. Haushofer’s writing is hauntingly beautiful, painting a vivid picture of both the harsh realities and the quiet beauty of the protagonist’s secluded existence. This novel will invite you to reflect on the relationships between humans and nature, the fragility of societal structures, and the transformative power of solitude.

Publisher's description

When her cousin and wife fail to return from a walk, this story takes a sinister turn to a quest of survival

A woman takes a holiday in the Austrian mountains, spending a few days with her cousin and his wife in their hunting lodge. When the couple fails to return from a walk, the woman sets off to look for them. But her journey reaches a sinister and inexplicable dead end. She discovers only a transparent wall behind which there seems to be no life. Trapped alone behind the mysterious wall she begins the arduous work of survival.

This is at once a simple account 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 simultaneously a disturbing dissection of the place of human beings in the natural world.

Praise and awards

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
- Doris Lessing

What is the wall? An allusion to the Cold War? An allegory for the Berlin Wall? Yes. But it also serves as a metaphorical stand-in for so many restrictions. It creates a situation that allows the main character and the reader to examine our ontology and what we think makes us real
- Kirkus Reviews (starred)

It's a novel that contrives to be, by turns, utopian and dystopian, an idyll and a nightmare... Every joint and sinew of the story is restless with a sense of threat
London Review of Books

It makes you sick, because, if she wasn't a woman, everyone would be reading it, like Robinson Crusoe
Sheila Heti, author of 'Motherhood' and 'Pure Colour'

Shipping & Returns

This book will be shipped within 3-5 working days

You can return any book within 14 days of delivery. Unfortunately, as a small business we cannot cover any shipping costs associated with returning an item nor do we refund the delivery costs you paid when ordering the book.

View full details
Carbon-neutral shipping with Shopify Planet
Carbon-neutral shipping on all orders
Powered by Shopify Planet