Skip to content
cover image for

Her restrained unvarnished prose is overwhelming.

—Nicole Krauss

A searing novella about coming of age in a land of tyranny, by one of Germany's most brilliant young authors.


The Book of Words

Fiction by Jenny Erpenbeck

translated by Susan Bernofsky

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.

published December 1st, 2007