Elfriede Jelinek was born in Austria in 1946 and grew up in Vienna where she attended the famous Music Conservatory. The leading Austrian writer of her generation, she has been awarded the Heinrich B ll Prize for her contribution to German literature. The film by Michael Haneke of The Piano Teacher won the three main prizes at Cannes in 2001. In 2004, Elfriede Jelinek was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature.
Novelist, poet, and playwright Jelinek's latest novel (published in German four years before she won the Nobel prize) is not for the casual reader or the faint of heart. Set in southern Austria, Greed tells the story of a country policeman with a mania for property acquisition and an appetite for rough sex that leads to the murder of a 16-year-old girl. The storyline, however, is not the important element of this novel. Its driving force is Jelinek's inimitable style of commentary on relationships between men and women, the struggles of the writer and of aging, the state of the environment, and Jelinek's love-hate relationship with Austria, among other things. The stream-of-consciousness musings of the novel's unidentifiable female narrator may drive some readers to distraction, with their repetition, lack of plot progression, and often incomprehensible wordplays. Like her or not, this "extraordinary linguistic zeal" (here masterfully translated by Chalmers) is why Jelinek is a Nobel laureate. Suitable for academic libraries with strong literary collections.-Karen Walton Morse, Univ. at Buffalo Libs., NY Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information.
?Greed has considerable energy and force. Its moral urgency is beyond doubt? Independent ?The real thrills lie in Jelinek?s droll, penetrating insight? Her challenging words boast a lingering impact; through to its denouement, Greed is ? like the writer herself ? relentless and remoseless? Metro ?Her novels evoke a hyperreality, where authentic experience is eclipsed by the recycled images of the mass media? Financial Times ?For anyone who wants to write or read daredevil, risk-taking prose, it was tremendously encouraging that Elfriede Jelinek won the Nobel prize for literature in 2004? Jelinek seized the novel by its bootstraps and shook it upside down? Her dynamic writing gives a sense of civilization surviving against the odds? Jelinek?s work is brave, adventurous, witty, antagonistic and devastatingly right about the sorriness of human existence, and her contempt is expressed with surprising chirpiness: it?s a wild ride? wonderful, defiant mischief-making? Guardian ?Global ecology, ageing and disturbing late-middle-aged female sexuality eat at the heart of Nobel prizewinner Jelinek?s provocative, mesmerizing, multi-level detective story of murderous evil? Saga Magazine ?[Jelinek] is on uncompromising form? TLS ?The power with Jelinek creates such a claustrophobic, disturbing narrative is impressive? Scotland on Sunday ?An intriguing and, at times, devastating novel? the underlying themes of dominance and submission?really capture the imagination and pervade Jelinek?s colourful blend of poetry and prose? Psychologies ?A powerful psychological thriller from a Nobel Prize-winning author? Red ?Jelinek?s pages pullulate with weird but wonderful lines that only she could have written... [She] is famous for her seriousness, metaphysical, political, ecological. But she is really a comic writer, like Beckett: a joker in the dark... So is it worth it, and is Jelinek worth her Nobel Prize? Yes: for those weird and wonderful lines, and for those jokes in the dark? Literary Review