A career-spanning collection of essays by the Nobel laureate Peter Handke, featuring two new works never before published in English
Quiet Places brings together Peter Handke’s forays into the border regions of life and story, upending the distinction between literature and the literary essay. Proceeding from the specificity of place (the mountains of Carinthia and Spain, the hinterlands of Paris) to specific objects (the jukebox, the boletus mushroom) to the irreducible particularity of our moods and mental impressions, these works—each a novella in its own right—offer rare insight into the affinities that can develop between a storyteller and the unlikeliest of subjects. Here, Handke posits a reevaluation of the possibilities and proper concerns of literature in a style unmistakably his own.
This collection unites the three essays from The Jukebox with two new works: “Essay on a Mushroom Maniac,” the story of a friend’s descent into and ascent from the depths of obsession, and “Essay on Quiet Places,” a memoiristic tour d’horizon of bathrooms and their place in Handke’s life and work. Featuring masterful translations by Krishna Winston and Ralph Manheim, this collection encapsulates the oeuvre of one of our greatest living writers.