Elfriede Jelinek

Elfriede Jelinek was born in 1946 in Mürzzuschlag, Austria, and grew up in Vienna, where she studied music and, later, theatre and art history. Alongside, she began writing poetry and established herself as a leading, if controversial, member of postwar Austria’s first generation of artists who struggled to come to terms with the legacy of the Holocaust. Among her most famous novels are The Piano Teacher (1983), Lust (1989), The Children of the Dead (1995). However, Jelinek considers herself primarily a playwright, and her plays Rechnitz, The Merchants Contracts and Charges (The Supplicants) are available from Seagull Books in the volume Three Plays. The translation of her satirical play on Donald Trump, On the Royal Road: The Burgher King, was published by Seagull Books in August 2020, and her play Fury is forthcoming in Gitta Honegger’s translation. Jelinek’s work has been translated into more than 30 languages and she received the Nobel Prize in Literature in 2004 ‘for her musical flow of voices and counter-voices in novels and plays that with extraordinary linguistic zeal reveal the absurdity of society's clichés and their subjugating power. You can read her Nobel Lecture here.

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