Peter Handke was born in Griffen, Austria, in 1942. He came to early prominence in the 1960s for such experimental plays as Kaspar and rapidly established himself as one of the most respected German-language writers of his generation, producing fiction, translations, memoirs, screenplays, and essays. Among his best-known novels are The Goalie’s Anxiety at the Penalty Kick, Repetition, and My Year in the No-Man’s Bay. He has directed adaptions of his novels The Left-Handed Woman and Absence and collaborated with filmmaker Wim Wenders on four films, including Wings of Desire. In addition to Short Letter, Long Farewell, NYRB Classics has also published Handke’s novel Slow Homecoming and his memoir A Sorrow Beyond Dreams.
American myth and American reality come to a head in Handke’s spare and dreamlike 1972 novel, in which a young Austrian alternately pursues and flees his ex-wife, culminating in a Hollywood ending.
A trilogy in which Handke, putting aside the nerve-racked style of his early work for a new simplicity, meditates on exile, art, and the nature of the bonds between parent and child.