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"The Sunday edition of the Kärntner Volkszeitung carried the following item under 'Local News': 'In the village of A. (G. township) , a housewife, aged 51, committed suicide on Friday night by taking an overdose of sleeping pills.'"So opens A Sorrow Beyond Dreams, the eminent Austrian novelist and playwright Peter Handke's reckoning with his mother's life -- which spanned the rise of the Nazis, World War II, and postwar suffering -- and death. Both stark and lyrical, full of love, anger, admiration, and a keen sense of history, this slim book reveals Handke at his most lucid and direct. It is the most moving and accessible work in his distinguished career; it is "indispensable" (Bill Marx, The Boston Globe) .

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