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Seven Stories Press

Works of Radical Imagination

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Translated by Martin Chalmers

In her first novel published in English since becoming the recipient of the Nobel Prize for Literature in 2004, Elfriede Jelinek delivers a stunning and unforgettable book.

Greed is the story of Kurt Janisch, an ambitious but frustrated country policeman, and the lonely women he seduces. It is a thriller set amid the mountains and small towns of southern Austria, where the investigation of a dead girl's body in a lake leads to the discovery of more than a single crime. In her signature style, Jelinek chronicles the exploitative nature of relations between men and women, and the cruelties of everyday life.

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Greed is another intriguing and challenging novel from Europe's cleverest, most visceral social phobic.”

“Jelinek gives us a startling glimpse … of what women are, as well as answering Freud's question, 'What do women want?' It's neither gentle nor sweet nor safe nor reasonable—just true.”

“Sandblasting her characters with a relentless stream of linguistically sophisticated contempt, Jelinek again explores some of her perennial themes, including pervasive loneliness, the ubiquitous ugliness of sexual relationships, and the tragedy of environmental destruction. But she also steps outside of her narrative, implying that textual relationships may also be complicit in the web of exploitation. An original and provocative condemnation of much that other novelists deem sacred, it may also attract Pynchon and Barthelme fans looking for a new challenge.”

“Elfriede Jelinek is magnificent.”

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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 received the Heinrich Böll Prize for her contribution to German literature in 1986. The film by Michael Haneke of her novel The Piano Teacher won the three main prizes at Cannes in 2001. In 2004, she was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature. In awarding Jelinek the Nobel Prize, the Swedish Academy wrote that the “extraordinary linguistic zeal” of her writing reveals “the absurdity of society’s clichés and their subjugating power.” Jelinek lives in Vienna.