Children of the Dead

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Children of the Dead
The magnum opus of 2004 Nobel laureate Elfriede Jelinek--a spectral journey through the catastrophic history embedded in the landscape of Austria

The Alpenrose is a mountain resort nestled in Austria's scenic landscape among historic churches and castles. It is a vacation idyll that attracts tourists from all over Europe. It is also a mass burial site.

Amid the snow-topped peaks and panoramic vistas, ghosts haunt the forest: Edgar Gstranz, a young skier who died in a car crash; Gudrun Bichler, a philosophy student who committed suicide in her bathtub; and Karin Frenzel, a widow who (perhaps) died in a bus accident. As the three slip in and out of the hotel, engaging unsuspecting tourists and seeking a way to return to life, the soil begins to crack under their feet as the dead of the Holocaust awaken: zombies determined to exact their revenge.

Scrupulously rendered for the first time in English by Gitta Honegger, The Children of the Dead takes readers on a mind-bending ride through time, space, and memory. Concocted from experimental theater, splatter film, Gothic literature, philosophy, religion, and more, Jelinek's phantasmagorical masterwork is a fierce confrontation with our fraught legacies in the name of the innocent dead.

Publication Date: 
March 12, 2024