A Whole Life: A Novel (Hardcover)

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A Whole Life: A Novel Cover Image
By Robert Seethaler, Charlotte Collins (Translated by)
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Staff Reviews

The title of this quiet and remarkable book perfectly sums up the beauty that's inside. A WHOLE LIFE by Austrian author Robert Seethaler, tells the entire life of Andreas Egger, an unremarkable man living in a remarkable century. In its brief 150 pages, the reader experiences the simple but eventful life of Eggers, from a young mountain climber to a widower to a prisoner of war in World War II. Fans of STONER and TRAIN DREAMS will find much to love in this elegant and universal story, as a man sees the world around him transform. A book of astounding restraint and quiet beauty, A WHOLE LIFE is illuminating, reminding all of us of the fleeting time we're given on this planet. Shortlisted for the Man Booker International Prize and translated beautifully by Charlotte Collins, A WHOLE LIFE is brilliant.

— From Mark recommends...

September 2016 Indie Next List

“Andreas Egger lived his whole life with nature as his most trusted companion. When humans, war, and debilitating events threatened him, he quietly climbed mountains, bathed in icy streams, watched the sun streak its intense color into the sky, and then put his head down and forged ahead. He lived eight decades, mostly alone, and faced death and privation with heroism, stoicism, and a depth of character rarely seen in the 'modern' 20th century. In this short novel, Seethaler has poetically created a character and a way of looking at the natural world that readers will never forget.”
— Gayle Shanks (W), Changing Hands Bookstore, Tempe, AZ


An international bestseller

Andreas Egger knows every path and peak of his mountain valley, the source of his sustenance, his livelihood--his home.

Set in the mid-twentieth century and told with beauty and tenderness, Robert Seethaler's A Whole Life is a story of man's relationship with an ancient landscape, of the value of solitude, of the arrival of the modern world, and above all, of the moments, great and small, that make us who we are.

About the Author

Robert Seethaler was born in Vienna in 1966 and is the author of several novels, including the international bestselling, Man Booker Prize-nominated A Whole Life. He also works as an actor, including in Paolo Sorrentino’s Youth. He lives in Berlin.

Charlotte Collins studied English at Cambridge University. She worked as an actor and radio journalist in both Germany and the U.K. before becoming a literary translator. She previously translated Robert Seethaler’s novelThe Tobacconist.

Praise For…

“One of my treasured discoveries this year was Robert Seethaler’s A Whole Life . . . From the very first page you know it’s about to rearrange your mental universe. It is a breathtaking, heartbreaking story that encapsulates a universe of change, loss, resilience.” —Anuradha Roy, The Millions

“Mr. Seethaler has produced a compact work of grace and beauty.” —Sam Sacks, The Wall Street Journal

A Whole Life is a provocatively ambitious title for this spare, novella-length work . . . Flecked with profundity [and] dark humor." —John Williams, The New York Times

“A tender and moving look at the human capacity for adaptation, Seethaler’s understated tale is a
reminder that joy can be found in daily toils and simple pleasures.” —Jonathan Fullmer, Booklist

"Readers will discover in [Seethaler's] contained prose a vehicle for keen insight and observation." —Publishers Weekly

"The book's prose has a directness and detail that helps set off the moments of genuine wisdom and restrained poetry . . . It is at this point that you realize why the novel should be doing so well in Germany, and why it is so urgent for the rest of us: it can guide its readers to make the best of their lives, however they turn out." —Sunday Telegraph

"Against the backdrop of a literary world that often seems crowded with novels yelling 'Look at me!,' it's refreshing to read a story marked by quiet, concentrated attention . . . Deeply moving." —Sunday Times

"Seethaler shows that for even the most ordinary people, life is an extraordinary adventure—and he does so tenderly and memorably." —Mail on Sunday

Product Details
ISBN: 9780374289867
ISBN-10: 0374289867
Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Publication Date: September 13th, 2016
Pages: 160
Language: English