Exhilaratingly strange, compelling, and original.

A meticulously observed and macabre tale of hell on earth from the revolutionary German author of the famous play Marat/Sade

Available April 5, 2022

The Shadow of the Coachman's Body

Fiction by Peter Weiss

Translated by Rosmarie Waldrop

Peter Weiss’s first prose work, The Shadow of the Coachman’s Body, was unanimously praised as an original and perfect work of art by critics when it appeared in 1960. Here, in poet Rosmarie Waldrop’s stunning translation, Weiss arranges a dark, vividly alive comedy of inert objects in a dismal boarding house—stones, buttons, hooks, needles, chairs, newspapers in an outhouse, clinking tin cups, celestial orbs, sewing machines, an overwound windup music box—which have oblique characters’ shadows as their supporting cast. Described by Weiss as a “micro-novel,” The Shadow of the Coachman’s Body can be obscene, trivial and brutal, and yet it is also peculiarly intimate and offers endless possibilities—like a telescope and kaleidoscope rolled into one.

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Exhilaratingly strange, compelling, and original.
Peter Weiss has, of course, achieved international celebrity through his plays and dramatic documentaries. But in the long run it may well be that his earlier prose writings will be recognized as his finest work.
—George Steiner