"The Sunday edition of the K rntner 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).