Marlen Haushofer

The Wall
  • The Wall

  • 'The air trembled, gold and green and clear, at the edges of the forest'

    A woman goes to the Austrian mountains to spend a few days in a hunting lodge with her cousin and his wife. When the couple fail to return from a walk, the woman tries to go into the village to look for them. Instead she comes across a transparent wall behind which there seems to be no life. Trapped behind the wall, a result of a too successful military experiment, she begins the arduous work of not only survival but self-renewal. The Wall is at once a simple document 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 meditation on our place in the natural world.

    VINTAGE EARTH is a series of books that reveals our ever-changing relationship with the environment. These are stories old and young, set in worlds real or imagined, that allow us to explore our connection to the natural world. Transformative, wild, surprising and essential, these novels take on the most urgent story of our times.

Marie Helene Haushofer was born in Frauenstein, Austria in 1920. Following the Second World War, she worked in her husband's dentistry practice. She began publishing short stories in magazines from 1946. She enjoyed success with her novella The Fifth Year, which was published in 1952 but her most enduring work was The Wall, first published in 1963 and now considered a classic of dystopian fiction. She died in 1970.

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