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Hausfrau by Jill Alexander Essbaum
  

Hausfrau

Literary Fiction   Provocative Prose   eBook Favourites   
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A much talked about novel of female alienation, US poet Essbaum's is a curious blend of Madame Bovary and Anna Karenina brought into the modern post-feminist age. Married to Bruno, a stolid Swiss banker, American middle-aged wife Anna Benz is stranded in middle class Switzerland, feeling trapped in her marriage, with three children towards whom she is highly ambivalent about, her German language skills imperfect, isolated in a spider web of trains running on time, mountain peaks, her own secrets and the depressingly clean Zurich suburbia. A curiously passive character she almost accidentally falls into an affair, then another, finding sex a momentary relief from her assigned role in society. Inevitably, between language classes, few close friends and psychotherapy sessions, her life begins to unwind. Even the eroticism of her liaisons, albeit reasonably explicit, has a bland Swiss monotony until tragedy strikes and engufls her. A book that could both fascinate and annoy you. Make your mind up. ~ Maxim Jakubowski


The Good Book Guide logo The Good Book Guide Review. The Mantle imprint has long been a guarantee of the best in crime fiction, with its celebrated editor Maria Rejt having the sharpest eye in the business for provocative new talent. Her skills have not deserted her, as Jill Alexander Essbaum turns out to be a really intriguing writer. The narrative of Hausfrau involves Anne Benz, outwardly living a comfortable life in an upscale area of Zürich. However Anne, an American expat, is in a state of turmoil, alienated from her husband and his family and seeking escape in a variety of ill-advised sexual dalliances. Inevitably, her life begins to spiral out of control, and the results (as described by Essbaum) are grimly mesmerising. Apart from the storytelling grip exerted here, the author’s use of language is absolutely apposite; this is a strikingly well-written novel.
~ Barry Forshaw

Synopsis

Hausfrau by Jill Alexander Essbaum

Haunting and elegant, Hausfrau is the exceptional debut novel from the prize-winning American poet, Jill Alexander Essbaum. Anna was a good wife, mostly ...Anna Benz, an American in her late-thirties, lives with her Swiss husband, Bruno - a banker - and their three young children, in a postcard-perfect suburb of Zurich. Though she leads a comfortable life, she is falling apart inside. Adrift and increasingly unable to connect with Bruno, or even her own feelings, Anna tries to rouse herself with new experiences: German language classes, Jungian analysis, and a series of sexual affairs she enters with an ease that surprises her. But she soon finds that she can't easily extract herself from these relationships. Having crossed a moral threshold, Anna will discover where a woman goes when there is no going back ...

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About the Author

Jill Alexander Essbaum

Jill Alexander Essbaum is the author of several collections of poetry. Her work has twice appeared in The Best American Poetry, as well as its sister anthology, The Best American Erotic Poems: From 1800 to the Present. A winner of the Bakeless Poetry Prize and recipient of two NEA literature fellowships, Essbaum is a member of the core faculty of the Low Residency MFA at the University of California, Riverside, where she teaches poetry. She lives and writes in Austin, Texas. Hausfrau is her first novel.

Author photo © Megan Sembera Peters

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Book Info

Publication date

7th April 2016

Author

Jill Alexander Essbaum

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Publisher

Picador an imprint of Pan Macmillan

Format

Paperback
336 pages
Interest Age: From 18 years

Categories

Literary Fiction
Provocative Prose
eBook Favourites

Modern & contemporary fiction (post c 1945)

ISBN

9781447280811

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