A psychological thriller of a tormented, existential sort. And it’s a love triangle, though a triangle most accurately drawn with dotted lines, given that it’s debatable how many of its members are real….This revised translation appears at a time when the book feels quite contemporary. Though even innovative mainstream fiction now being published reads like “A Is for Apple” compared to Malina, there’s no question that the book shares a spirit with any and all books about the unsought psychological challenges of being a woman in this world. Lucid and powerful.
—John Williams, The New York Times Book Review

Now a New Directions book, the legendary novel “equal to the best of Virginia Woolf and Samuel Beckett” (The New York Times Book Review)

Malina

Fiction by Ingeborg Bachmann

Translated by Philip Boehm

With a contribution by Rachel Kushner

In Malina, originally published in German in 1971, Ingeborg Bachmann invites the reader into a world stretched to the very limits of language. An unnamed narrator, a writer in Vienna, is torn between two men: viewed through the tilting prism of obsession, she travels further into her own madness, anxiety, and genius. Malina explores love, “deathstyles,” the roots of fascism, and passion.

“Fascism is the first thing in the relationship between a man and a woman, and I attempted to say that here in this society there is always war. There isn’t war and peace, there’s only war.“—Ingeborg Bachmann

Editions: PaperbackEbook

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Paperback (published June 25, 2019)

ISBN
9780811228725
Price US
16.95
Trim Size
5 x 8"
Page Count
283

Ebook

ISBN
9780811228732
A psychological thriller of a tormented, existential sort. And it’s a love triangle, though a triangle most accurately drawn with dotted lines, given that it’s debatable how many of its members are real….This revised translation appears at a time when the book feels quite contemporary. Though even innovative mainstream fiction now being published reads like “A Is for Apple” compared to Malina, there’s no question that the book shares a spirit with any and all books about the unsought psychological challenges of being a woman in this world. Lucid and powerful.
—John Williams, The New York Times Book Review
Bachmann’s only novel—set in Vienna and first published in 1971—takes on the vexed struggle between the sexes in a decaying city. Dense, compelling, often weirdly funny, a dark fairy tale told as a murder mystery. Rewarding and highly recommended.
Kirkus (Starred)
Although Bachmann imbibed the despondent charm of her forebears, her only finished novel reaches the contemporary reader as something strange and sui generis: an existential portrait, a work of desperate obsession, a proto-feminist classic, and one of the most jagged renderings of female consciousness European literature has produced. In its torrent of language, paralyzing lassitude, and relentless constriction of expectation and escape, Malina condenses—and then detonates—the neurasthenic legacy of the interwar Austrian novel.
—Dustin Illingworth, The Nation
In the astonishing desolation and wonder that is Ingeborg Bachmann’s Malina… there is no certain narrative, but there are many, deeply internalized, stories.
—Nicci Gerrard, The Guardian
A feminist classic.
The Paris Review
Bachmann’s vision is so original that the effect is like having a new letter of the alphabet.
The Guardian
In place of Wittgenstein’s language as city, Malina creates a vision of Vienna as language, one might even say as mind: to what extent it may be feminine, masculine, or otherwise is impossible to discern.
Music & Literature
An existential portrait, a work of desperate obsession, a proto-feminist classic, and one of the most jagged renderings of female consciousness European literature has produced.
The Nation
Bachmann’s moral seriousness, modernist and primeval, is nowhere in doubt, nor is her terror: it rides her language (burning and cooling, by turns) into strange dialectical valleys, up Alpine peaks, into labyrinthine Viennese apartments and sardonic lakeside villas.
4Columns
Malina will always be in style.
4Columns
If I was permitted to keep one book only it would be Malina. Malina has everything.
—Claire-Louise Bennett
It seems in Malina there is nothing Bachmann cannot do with words.
The New York Review of Books
A Viennese woman cooks dinner for her lover, waits by the telephone, delays embarking on a trip or writing the book she’s meant to write. And in that nulltime, the abyss of twentieth-century trauma yawns wide open and engulfs her.
—Tom McCarthy
The most intelligent and important woman writer our land has produced this century.
—Thomas Bernhard
A masterpiece!
—Naja Marie Aidt, Publishers Weekly
Bachmann’s voice is rare and strong–strong enough to transport us to a new domain of fiction.
Los Angeles Times