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Three Paths to the Lake [stories]

Ingeborg Bachmann, translated from the German by Mary Fran Gilbert and with an introduction by Mark Anderson
Three Paths to the Lake [stories]
ISBN: 978-0-8419-1070-6
ISBN: 978-0-8419-1071-3
1997/212 pages/LC: 96-53686
Distributed for Holmes & Meier Publishers
"Imaginative and evocative.... This powerful book could well become a classic."—Publishers Weekly

"Bachmann writes in a Cubist prose of sudden cutoffs and reconnections that is acute and moving. She manages to convey that her women are playing out the Europe of their time and before their time."—New Yorker

"Bachmann's voice is rare and strong—strong enough to transport us to a new domain of fiction."—Los Angeles Times Book Review


Each of the five stories in Three Paths to a Lake, Ingeborg Bachmann's second powerful collection, is the portrait of an Austrian woman in the late 1960s living in a social order that is largely defined by men.

Bachmann's narratives trace the path by which each woman is brought to an elementary state of isolation and speechlessness. But, as Mark Anderson writes in his introduction to the book, though she "gives an account of [their] hopelessly mired and isolated lives," she does it without herself giving up hope.


Ingeborg Bachmann (1926-1973), a native of Austria, is acknowledged as one of the most gifted writers of twentieth century German literature. Her eclectic body of work included poetry, opera librettos, the novel Malina, and her first collection of short stories, The Thirtieth Year. The "first lady" of the renowned Group 47, her influence extended to such major writers as Günter Grass, Uwe Johnson, and Christa Wolf.