The Old Child

Jenny Erpenbeck

Published: 1 December 2006
Hardback, Other
130x170mm, 112 pages
ISBN: 9781846270567

Translated by Susan Bernofsky


When they found her, she was standing on the street with an empty bucket in one hand. When they asked her what she was called, where she lived, who her family was, her memory was a blank. So now the girl has been deposited in an orphanage, where she dresses in the same clothes as the others, and attends the same lessons, but even here, she and they know that she doesn't quite fit. Somewhere, within the girl's sturdy, slow body, beneath her watchful silence, the truth about her identity and her past lies hidden, until - in spare, harsh prose - Erpenbeck draws it coolly out.

About the author

Image of Jenny Erpenbeck

Jenny Erpenbeck was born in East Berlin in 1967. She has worked on opera and musical productions and her fiction has been translated worldwide. She is the author of The Old Child & The Book of Words, and Visitation. More about the author


‘Erpenbeck will get under your skin’



‘I haven't read anything this good - this bracing, unflinching and alive - for a long time’ Nicole Krauss, author of A HISTORY OF LOVE

‘Oppressive, charming, scary ... Jenny Erpenbeck is the rising star of the German literary scene’

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