Jill Alexander Essbaum

07 April 2016
336 pages


Hausfrau is the exceptional debut novel from the prize-winning American poet, Jill Alexander Essbaum. 'The Book that will have everyone talking' Cosmopolitan

Anna Benz, an American in her late-thirties, lives with her Swiss husband, Bruno - a banker - and their three young children, in a postcard-perfect suburb of Zürich.

Though she leads a comfortable life, she is falling apart inside. Adrift and increasingly unable to connect with Bruno, or even her own feelings, Anna tries to rouse herself with new experiences: German language classes, Jungian analysis, and a series of sexual affairs she enters with an ease that surprises her.

But she soon finds that she can't easily extract herself from these relationships. Having crossed a moral threshold, Anna will discover where a woman goes when there is no going back . . .

Haunting . . . Beautifully written, the ennui of its Anna Karenina-esque heroine's deceptively perfect life as a Swiss housewife seeps from every page

Hausfrau may be the Fifty Shades of literary fiction . . . This debut brilliantly chronicles a woman's
life falling apart . . . The novel's mood is, like Anna's, dreamy and dissociated . . . It is a brilliantly sustained examination of self-induced loneliness and pathological alienation.

It's the book that will have everyone talking . . .