The Old Child and the Book of Words

Author(s): Jenny Erpenbeck


A child is found standing on the street, with an empty bucket in her hand, and no memory of her name, her family or her past. Elsewhere, a girl grows up surrounded by familiar faces - a wet nurse, a piano teacher, a gardener, a best friend and a distant mother - but soon finds them slipping mysteriously from her life. In the company of these girls, we are compelled to tread the uncertain and spiky terrain of memory, where words are dropped like clues to reveal what has been hidden, forgotten or erased.


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'A haunting, offbeat novella of real profundity.' Lionel Shriver 'With the detached spare prose and mysterious internal logic of a fairy tale, the writing has a dark, transformative power - it gets into the blood stream and refuses to leave. Beguiling and original.' The Times 'Erpenbeck excels as miniaturist, examining the psychology of her blank-eyed outsider with language as sharp as a scalpel.' Guardian 'Intense and beautifully written' Time Out 'A book that begins simply and ends simply, yet one that prods at you until you are completely overwhelmed. A fresh literary sensation.' 5-star reader comment on

JENNY ERPENBECK was born in East Berlin in 1967. She has worked on opera and musical productions and her fiction has been translated into 13 languages worldwide.

General Fields

  • : 9781846270581
  • : Portobello Books
  • : Portobello Books Ltd
  • : November 2008
  • : 198mm X 129mm
  • : United Kingdom
  • : books

Special Fields

  • : Jenny Erpenbeck
  • : Paperback
  • : New edition
  • : English
  • : 833.92
  • : 192