A Whole Life

The following is from the Man Booker shortlist site for 2015.

A Whole Life

Translated by Charlotte Collins

Published by Pan Macmillan, Picador

Andreas lives his whole life in the Austrian Alps, where he arrives as a young boy taken in by a farming family. He is a man of very few words and so, when he falls in love with Marie, he doesn’t ask for her hand in marriage but instead has some of his friends light her name at dusk across the mountain. When Marie dies in an avalanche, pregnant with their first child, Andreas’s heart is broken. He leaves his valley just once more, to fight in WWII – where he is taken prisoner in the Caucasus – and returns to find that modernity has reached his remote haven. Like John Williams’ Stoner or Denis Johnson’s Train DreamsA Whole Life is a tender book about finding dignity and beauty in solitude. It looks at the moments, big and small, that make us what we are.

Robert Seethaler is an Austrian living in Berlin and is the author of four previous novels. He also works as an actor, most recently in Paulo Sorrentino’s Youth. 

Charlotte Collins studied English at Cambridge University. She worked as an actor and radio journalist in both Germany and the UK before becoming a literary translator, and has also translated Robert Seethaler’s novel The Tobacconist.

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