Essay on Bernhard Schlink’s The Woman on the Stairs


I’ve always admired Bernhard Schlink’s fiction, particularly his short stories published in his 2000 collection Flights of Love. I think it’s the preoccupation with guilt and culpability that interests me so much. Although Schlink is more concerned with the peculiar German experience, they are emotions that plague us all to a certain extent.

Here‘s me on his novel, The Woman on the Stairs for the Sydney Review of Books. It was a disorientating experience reading a book set in the city I live in, that felt oddly distant from the place I know so well.


Published by gretchenshirm

Sydney writer and critic. Author of Having Cried Wolf.

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