Lists of Nobel Prizes and Laureates


Book Tips - Elfriede Jelinek

The Nobel Prize in Literature 2004 was awarded to Elfriede Jelinek "for her musical flow of voices and counter-voices in novels and plays that with extraordinary linguistic zeal reveal the absurdity of society's clichés and their subjugating power".

Read more about the Nobel Prize in Literature 2004

Tell us about your favorite book!

More book tips

Das Werk

It is a play and I first saw a performance that has been filmed in Vienna on TV. Then I bought the book and was totally blown away! Her style to use voices in one character is not easy to read, but honest as only life can be! So I recommend that book, although it might be hard to follow for people who are not familiar with the history and present political situation in Austria. It is mainly about an accident in Kaprun, a small village in the Alps where a huge factory creating energy by water is build and 155 People died during this accident. Jelinek let all the people speak: the dead, the forgotten, even the trees ... So this piece of art is funny, shocking and provocative, but the best picture not only of the Austrian society but maybe of the society of the western world, too.
/Johannes, Germany

Greed (Gier)

The style and concept.
/dr r v, India


Powerful. Jelinek was able to change the way I thought simply with her writing.
/J. Alan, United States
It is a wonderful social criticism; women's issues have to be boldly addressed.
/Seetha Vijayakumar, India

The Children of the Dead (Die Kinder der Toten)

/Lushchyk Serhiy, Ukraine
The surreal subject matter, the sardonic narrative voice, and the pervasive contrast between the picturesque Alpine wilderness and acts of human carnage and moral decay all build on Jelinek's vivid portrait of a post-war Austrian society unwittingly consumed by its own dark history of violence and minority oppression.
/Nick Defina, United States
I like it because this work is most beautiful, complicated and exciting.
/Luschyk Serhiy, Ukraine

The Piano Teacher (Die Klavierspielerin)

The novel draws you in and holds you. You stare in horror at what you are seeing in your mind's eye and yet you can't look away. Jelinek is one of the greatest writers of the modern age.
/Zachary Hardy, United States
Because it is a book that shows the drama of women how interiorize the voice of man. This book shows the pain of women how speak through the men's voice and not with a woman's voice.
/Ferran Castillo Antich, Spain
It shows violence and the consequences of it in modern society.
/Nora, Canada
Changes meaning of life. Changes meaning of thinking. Reorganises your emotions. Gives you tips when you try to write.
/Kamil Gołaszewski, Poland
Deceptively vulgar, the book sheds a light of the bleakness of human psychology and relationship, even within a family. Power-play, conflict, hierarchy and society are portrayed (or even distorted) in an extremely subversive angle. Vividly appalling yet an incisive social examination, it challenges the porous boundary separating pornography and literature or perhaps tries to marry the two worlds.
/Valentino Yonathan Febianto, Singapore
Her books present a cruel world where the reader finds a society of violence, the obedience, the killer and the victim, the way by which the conformism of the media industry inserts and alienates the consciences, paralyzes any power of resistance against the social unjustice, and the depression of the other sex. The style of her writing is unique, she balances between the poetry and the literature, between the myth and the anthem, between theater and cinema, between novels and tragedy ...
/Eva Theotokatou, Greece
This book is recommended for the sheer gamut of emotions it evokes in the reader ... if the suffocating dominance of the mother shocks you, the poignancy of the scene where the father is committed to an asylum will move you too ... if, on the one hand, the sado-masochism of Erika disgusts you, her victimisation in the end moves you too ... this book is a roller-coaster ride of emotions ... I'd say get into it, enjoy the whole spectrum of emotions!
/Nisha, Kuwait
It seemed to me the truth about the dark side of love and submission.
/Riccardo Spadotto, Italy
By the time you reach page number 20 you already get the story, the complex mind of this poor woman who is enslaved by her own mother. Erika Kohut, the piano teacher, is a bird whose wings were cut, whose dreams were drowned in a forced and unfruitful dedication to art. But when one of her students falls in love with her, this sad woman have only a sadistic and masochist love to offer, a natural reaction of anyone who is forced to be locked inside herself. It makes you sick. It makes you sad. The words, the characters, the story itself: All of this explodes in your head in a powerful scream against humiliation, false morality and everything that is wrong in this stupid world. A rebel masterpiece!
/Ricardo Rodrigues, Portugal

Women as Lovers (Die Liebhaberinnen)

The language is amazing and unexpected. The sentences are so much too the point that you are taken by storm and both shocked and filled with laughter.
/Marit Solbjør, Norway

Wonderful Wonderful Times (Die Ausgesperrten)

A very frightening but also absolutly essential book. It's the second best book I've ever read. I've read it both in English and in Swedish. Jelinek is one of those writers I just have to read every word of that I can get my hands on ...
/Janne Tall, Sweden
Share this:
To cite this page
MLA style: "Book Tips - Visitors Recommend". Nobel Media AB 2014. Web. 24 Sep 2017. <>