A “challenging and rewarding novel”* from Nobel Prize-winning author Peter Handke.
The time is an unspecified modernity, the place possibly Europe. Absence follows four nameless people -- the old man, the woman, the soldier, and the gambler -- as they journey to a desolate wasteland beyond the limits of an unnamed city.
“In this smoothly written fable, Handke forcefully summons readers to the recognition that the essence of human life lies in the striving for self-expression even though its perfect realization must always remain elusive.”—*Publishers Weekly
"A remarkably abstract book even for the very abstract Handke... Slippery but engrossing work, silkily translated." - Kirkus Reviews
About the Author
Peter Handke was born in Griffen, Austria, in 1942. A novelist, playwright, and translator, he is the author of such acclaimed works as The Moravian Night, A Sorrow Beyond Dreams, The Goalie's Anxiety at the Penalty Kick, and Repetition. The recipient of multiple literary awards, including the Franz Kafka Prize and the International Ibsen Award, Handke is also a filmmaker. He wrote and directed adaptations of his novels The Left-Handed Woman and Absence, and co-wrote the screenplays for Wim Wenders’ Wrong Movie and Wings of Desire. He won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 2019.
Ralph Manheim (b. New York, 1907) was an American translator of German and French literature. His translating career began with a translation of Mein Kempf in which Manheim set out to reproduce Hitler's idiosyncratic, often grammatically aberrant style. In collaboration with John Willett, Manheim translated the works of Bertolt Brecht. The Pen/Ralph Manheim Medal for translation, inaugurated in his name, is a major lifetime achievement award in the field of translation. He himself won its predecessor, the PEN translation prize, in 1964. Manheim died in Cambridge in 1992. He was 85.