Library for the War-Wounded

Product Details
$26.99  $25.10
Bloomsbury Publishing
Publish Date
5.6 X 8.4 X 1.0 inches | 0.75 pounds

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About the Author

Monika Helfer grew up in Vorarlberg, Austria. Her novels include the internationally bestselling, Schubart Prize-winning Last House Before the Mountain and Löwenherz (Lionheart). She has been awarded the Bodensee and Solothurn Literature Prizes, the Johann Beer Prize, and the Austrian Cross of Honor. She lives in Hohenems, Austria.

Gillian Davidson is a literary translator based in London. Monika Helfer's Last House Before the Mountain was her first published work of translation.

"Helfer's introspective remembrances of her childhood, complete with anecdotal narratives of her relatives and glimpses of the love shared by her parents, breathe life into the characters' simple moments of joy amid times of hardship. Helfer's fans will appreciate her searching perspective on her father." --Publishers Weekly

"A clear portrait of the unrelenting, continuing legacy of damage suffered by those permanently maimed by war . . . Deciphering the forces that informed her father's decisions, as well as his various disabilities, leads Helfer to examine their generalized effects on her family as well in this sobering account. Helfer's unrelieved portrait of a suffering soul wastes nothing on superfluous embellishment." --Kirkus Reviews

"Beautifully rendered in English by Davidson, Helfer's novel stirringly blurs the line between memoir and fiction, concluding with painful honesty, confiding her doubts about how well she knew her father. Fans of family sagas will appreciate Helfer's multifaceted tribute to the father who inspired her love of reading." --Booklist

"A poignant, captivating, beautifully woven family saga. As honest as Elena Ferrante, with the folkloric intensity of Téa Obreht." --Christina Baker Kline, #1 New York Times bestselling author of THE EXILES, A PIECE OF THE WORLD, and ORPHAN TRAIN on LAST HOUSE BEFORE THE MOUNTAIN

"Beautiful and heartbreaking, and readers will fall in love with Maria. I absolutely loved it." --Monica Ali, New York Times bestselling author of UNTOLD STORY and LOVE MARRIAGE on LAST HOUSE BEFORE THE MOUNTAIN

"In Helfer's spare, subtle English-language debut, an Austrian family is transformed during WWI . . . Helfer brings a great deal of nuance to her exploration of female desire and vulnerability, male power, and community division. This should win the author wider recognition in the U.S." --Publishers Weekly on LAST HOUSE BEFORE THE MOUNTAIN

"What distinguishes Last House Before the Mountain from a hundred other family stories is its charm . . . it confides in the reader intimately." --The Observer on LAST HOUSE BEFORE THE MOUNTAIN

"A masterclass in literary compression. In just a short span of pages, Helfer brings a whole world of wonder, loss and deep, deep longing to indelible life. How lucky we are that her work is finally available in English." --Laird Hunt, author of National Book Award Finalist ZORRIE on LAST HOUSE BEFORE THE MOUNTAIN

"Generations of family secrets and unrequited love are braided with restraint and compassion in this moving story of a woman's longing. Drawing from the wreckage of war and poverty, Monika Helfer expertly weaves this entrancing tale of one woman's struggle to build a life of love and dignity." --Tsering Yangzom Lama, author of Scotiabank Giller Prize Finalist WE MEASURE THE EARTH WITH OUR BODIES on LAST HOUSE BEFORE THE MOUNTAIN