Elfriede Jelinek: Biography

Elfriede Jelinek

20 okt 1946

An Austrian author and actress, Elfriede Jelinek is famous for her work, ‘The Piano Teacher’. Although an author, Elfriede was equally interested in music. Elfriede’s works are very rarely known outside Germany and Austria; still her form of writing fetched her Nobel Prize for Literature in 2004.

Elfriede Jelinek was born on Oct 20, 1946 in Murzzuschlag, Austria. She graduated in theatre and arts from the University of Vienna and also continued learning music. Her interest in writing made her to write poetry even as a child. When she was about 17 years, Elfriede was affected by a nervous breakdown and so she started to write as a way to express herself.

‘Lisas Schatten’ published in 1967 was the first work of Elfriede. She herself was a strong supporter of feminism and very much active in politics. She made good use of her writing skills to publicise issues like authority and gender discrimination. Since Elfriede’s works depicted sex and violence in a clear manner, few described her work as ‘pornographic’.

Elfriede has not only written books and poetry but also scripts for movies. She has also written radio plays and her play, ‘When the Sun Sinks Time to Close Shop’ made her famous in Austria and Germany. The autobiographical, ‘Die Klavierspielerin (The Piano Teacher) which brought Elfriede a huge fan base was made into a movie by Michael Haneke and the movie too was a success. Few of her other works are, ‘Malina’, ‘Die Ausgesperrten’ and ‘Neid (Envy).