Friday, 22 February 2008
The Wall by Marlen Haushofer
This is a wonderful, profoundly moving novel about a woman who is staying in a house in an alpine valley and wakes up one day to find there is an invisible wall between her and the rest of the world. She is isolated with only a cow, a dog, a cat and the land and wildlife around her. It is a beautifully written book and makes the reader ask lots of questions about our ability to be self sufficient, our relationship with the environment and with animals and the meaning of life. Each of the animals is a wonderfully drawn character and the narrator (who has no name) draws great comfort from them. The Wall itself is fascinating too, it could be symbolic of psychological or political isolation or could represent environmental breakdown. I read this book in German, but I think that it is available in English translation.