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Thomas Bernhard was born in Holland in 1931 and grew up in Austria. He studied music at the Akademie Mozarteum in Salzburg. In 1957 he began a second career, as a playwright, poet, and novelist. The winner of the three most distinguished and coveted literary prizes awarded in Germany, he has become one of the most widely translated and admired writers of his generation. He published nine novels, an autobiography, one volume of poetry, four collections of short stories, and six volumes of plays. Thomas Bernhard died in Austria in 1989.
"Furious, obsessive, scathing, absolutely hilarious and oddly beautiful." --Claire Messud, author of The Emperor's Children, on Salon "Bernhard's fiction is full of energy; his restless imagination cannot leave a fact or idea alone. . . . Only someone with such a brilliant, tricky, inexhaustible mind could get away with Wittgenstein's Nephew." --The New York Times "In its obsessive, elegant rhythms and narrative eloquence, [Wittgenstein's Nephew] resembles a tragic aria by Richard Strauss. . . . A memento mori that approaches genius." --Wall Street Journal "Oddly moving and funny. . . . A meditative fugue for mad, brilliant voices on the themes of death, death-in-life and the artist's and thinker's role in society." --Chicago Tribune "Bernhard is a writer of great originality and fascination." --The New York Review of Books "In the annals of literature, Thomas Bernhard will stand as Austria's postwar genius." --The Washington Times "Thomas Bernhard is one of the masters of contemporary European fiction. . . . After Kafka and Canetti's, his sensibility is one of the most acute, the most capable of exemplary images and gestures, in modern literature." --George Steiner "It is high time that we keep Bernhard firmly in our mind, as European readers have been doing for many years now." --Christian Science Monitor