Die Wand by Marlen Haushofer

November 2022

I’d never heard of this book before reading a review of it a few months ago. It’s broadly a work of speculative/dystopian fiction: a woman wakes up in a mountain hut to discover that the area she’s in has been surrounded by an impenetrable clear wall. No explanation is given for this, and the book focuses on her efforts to make a new life herself in these strange circumstances. She’s trapped, but she’s also liberated from the strictures of society and the expectations placed on women especially.

It’s a great premise and I was really caught up in reading the crystal clear prose—and at some point not very far in, I realized I was maybe too caught up in its weird atmosphere and definitely too affected by several actual and impending animal deaths, and I had to put the book down. I was starting to dread reading it each night, and we were also about to start traveling for a few weeks, and I wanted something more light and distracting to dip into on our travels.

So I’ve put the book aside for now—something I really never do. It was just hanging too heavily on me. Maybe I’ll pick it up again at some point. Just not right now.

Further reading…