The Fruit Thief: or, One-Way Journey into the Interior: A Novel (Paperback)

The Fruit Thief: or, One-Way Journey into the Interior: A Novel By Peter Handke, Krishna Winston (Translated by) Cover Image
By Peter Handke, Krishna Winston (Translated by)
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A major new novel from the Nobel laureate Peter Handke—one of his most inventive and dazzlingly original works

On a summer day under a blue sky a man is stung on his foot by a bee. “The sting signaled that the time had come to set out, to hit the road. Off with you. The hour of departure has arrived.” The man boards a train to Paris, crosses the city by Métro, then boards another, disembarking in a small town on the plains to the north. He is searching for a young woman he calls the Fruit Thief, who, like him, has set off on a journey to the Vexin plateau. What follows is a vivid but dreamlike exploration of topography both physical and affective, charting the Fruit Thief’s perambulations across France’s internal borderlands: alongside rivers and through ravines, beside highways and to a bolt-hole under the stairs of an empty hotel. Chance encounters—with a man scrambling through the underbrush in search of his lost cat, and with a delivery boy who abandons his scooter to become a fellow traveler for a day—are like so many throws of the dice, each exposing new facets of this mysterious individual in the manner of a cubist portrait.

In prose of unrivaled precision, lucidly rendered into English by Krishna Winston, The Fruit Thief elevates the terrain of everyday life to epic status, and situates the microgeography of an individual at the center of a book like few others. This is one of Nobel laureate Peter Handke’s most significant and original achievements.

About the Author

Peter Handke was born in Griffen, Austria, in 1942. His many novels include The Goalie’s Anxiety at the Penalty Kick, A Sorrow Beyond Dreams, My Year in the No-Man’s Bay, and Crossing the Sierra de Gredos, all published by FSG. Handke’s dramatic works include Kaspar and the screenplay for Wim Wenders’s Wings of Desire. Handke is the recipient of many major literary awards, including the Georg Büchner, Franz Kafka, and Thomas Mann Prizes and the International Ibsen Award. In 2019, he was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature “for an influential work that with linguistic ingenuity has explored the periphery and the specificity of human experience.”

Krishna Winston is the Marcus L. Taft Professor of German Language and Literature at Wesleyan University. She has translated more than thirty books, including five previous works by Peter Handke and works by Werner Herzog, Günter Grass, Christoph Hein, and Goethe.

Praise For…

"An experience of unadulterated literature . . . The first three words announce in a classical, almost fairy-tale-like way that a narrative of sorts has indeed commenced, while simultaneously erecting a frame of self-awareness that puts us at a slight remove from it—a hint, perhaps, that what follows will encompass a deconstruction of stories themselves, their telling and their tellers." —Rob Doyle, The New York Times Book Review

"Handke often emphasizes not an event but, rather, a seemingly minor moment, the significance of which the person who experiences it does not even recognize . . . [A] sense of intense presentness is the book’s governing principle . . . There is pleasure in watching this narrative wend its leisurely way to a conclusion." —Ruth Franklin, The New Yorker

When Handke won the Nobel Prize in 2019, the committee noted his interest in 'the periphery and specificity of human experience.' Considering his novel, this is an understatement . . . [The Fruit Thief] is almost a prehistory of experience, a demanding, engrossing narrative . . . Handke offers a reading experience that requires, and repays, a certain surrender." —Michael Autrey, Booklist

"Handke’s control of his prose is impressive and unwavering, and by the end [of Quiet Places] I had come to share many of his unusual fascinations." —Timothy Parfitt, New City

"A gorgeous, multi-layered tapestry . . . Narrated by an elderly man who steps on a bee, this latest from Nobel laureate Handke (A Sorrow Beyond Dreams) takes readers on an intimate journey through the cities, towns, and rural expanses of north-central France . . . Handke is a marvel at capturing and digging deeply into the history, sights, sounds, smells, and feel of France, which comes alive in his masterly hands." —Jacqueline Snider, Library Journal (starred review)

"[Handke] is a savvy explorer of the minutiae of human experience, and makes every hour of his wanderer’s sojourn 'dramatic, even if nothing happened,' as the narrator notes. Handke’s descriptions . . . offer much to savor. It adds up to a powerful anthem for 'the eternally daunted undaunted' . . . Admirers of the stylistically cavalier Handke will be rewarded for taking in the scenery of this story." Publishers Weekly

Product Details
ISBN: 9781250862921
ISBN-10: 1250862922
Publisher: Picador
Publication Date: April 4th, 2023
Pages: 336
Language: English