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Elfriede Jelinek


Elfriede Jelinek was born in 1946 in Mürzzuschalg in Styria. She studied music at the Vienna Conservatory and then studied drama and art history at the University of Vienna. There was considerable tension between her parents, and her father was interned in a mental institution. Jelinek herself then suffered a mental breakdown when she was seventeen. She has maintained that her writing, which she started shortly afterwards, helped her to recover. She first wrote poetry, for which she received prizes. In 1969 her father died in the mental institution and Jelinek became involved in the student movement and, in particular the Grazer Gruppe and its magazine manuskripte.

She now started writing radio plays and then a series of novels. In 1974 she married Gottfried Hüngsberg, who had been associated with the film-maker Rainer Werner Fassbinder, and also joined the Communist Party (which she left in 1991). Her early novels were experimental but she changed after she became active in the Austrian student movement. Michael – Ein Jugendbuch für die Infantilgesellschaft, the first novel written after her conversion, is a critique of the consumer society. In her later novels – and those for which she is best known – she takes a feminist perspective, looking at the role of women in the workplace and, more particular, the role of women in sexual relationships with men. Her concern, she has said on many occasions, is to examine the political and economic system that governs people’s lives, both in Austria and the world at large. She won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 2004 but declined to go to Stockholm to accept it.

Books about Elfriede Jelinek

Bartsch, Kurt and Günther A. Höfler: Elfriede Jelinek (in German)

Other links

Elfriede Jelinek
Elfriede Jelinek (Nobel Prize award)
Austrian writer wins Nobel prize
Elfriede Jelinek’s homepage (in German)
Elfriede Jelinek (in German)
Elfriede Jelinek (in German)
Elfriede Jelinek (in German)
Elfriede Jelinek (in German)
Jelinek, Elfriede (in German)
Porträt Elfriede Jelinek (in German)
Beschimpft und gefeiert (reaction to her winning the Nobel Prize – in German)
Jelinetz (der Plattform zu Elfriede Jelinek und Ihren Werken – in German)
Elfriede Jelinek im Zenit des Ruhms? (in German) (interview)
Interview (in German)
Interview (in German)
Interview (in German)


1967 Lisas Schatten
1970 Wir sind Lockvögel Baby!
1972 Materialien zu Musiksoziologie (with Ferdinand Zellwecker and Wilhelm Zobl)
1972 Michael – Ein Jugendbuch für die Infantilgesellschaft
1975 Die Liebhaberinnen (Women as Lovers)
1979 Bukolit: Hörroman
1980 Die Ausgesperrten (Wonderful, Wonderful Times)
1980 Ende: Gedichte von 1966-1968
1980 Die endlose Unschuldigkeit: Prosa, Hörspiel, Essay
1983 Die Klavierspielerin (The Piano Teacher)
1984 Theaterstücke (drama)
1985 Oh Wildnis, oh Schutz vor ihr
1987 Krankheit oder, Moderne Frauen
1989 Lust (Lust)
1990 Wolken, Heim (drama)
1991 Isabelle Huppert in Malina (film script)
1991 Totenauberg (drama)
1995 Die Kinder der Toten (The Children of the Dead)
1995 Sturm und Zwang: Schreiben als Geschlechterkampf
1997 Stecken, Stab und Stangl; Raststätte oder sie machens alle; Wolken, Heim (drama)
1998 Er nicht als er (Her Not All Her) (drama)
1998 Ein Sportstück (Sports Play) (drama)
1999 Macht nichts: eine kleine Trilogie des Todes
2000 Gier (Greed)
2000 Das Lebewohl: 3 kleine Dramen
2002 In den Alpen: drei Dramen
2003 Der Tod und das Mädchen I-V: Prinzessinnendramen (Elfriede Jelineks Princess Plays)
2003 Bambiland; Babel: zwei Theatertexte (Bambiland)
2008 Neid (not published, only available online)
2008 Rechnitz (Der Würgeengel) (Rechnitz (drama)
2008 Das Werk (drama)
2009 Die Kontrakte des Kaufmanns(The Merchant’s Contracts) (drama)
2009 Drei Theaterstücke (drama)
2011 Winterreise: Ein Theaterstück (drama)
2011 Schatten (Eurydike sagt) (drama)
2011 Kein Licht (drama)
2013 Rein Gold. Ein Bühnenessay (Rein Gold) (novel)
2014 Die Schutzbefohlenen (Charges)
2016 Wut (Fury) (drama)
2018 Am Königsweg (On the Royal Road) (drama)