Marlen Haushofer (1920–1970) was born in Frauenstein, a region in Upper Austria. She attended Catholic boarding school in Linz and studied German literature in Vienna and Graz. Her adult life was spent in Steyr, an old industrial city with a strong working class culture and a history of militancy. She published the novella The Fifth Year in 1952 and earned her first literary award in 1953. Her first novel, A Handful of Life, was published in 1955. The Wall, published in 1962, considered her greatest literary achievement, received the Arthur Schnitzler Prize in 1963. The Wall is currently recognized for its important place in traditions of feminist fiction. Haushofers’s last novel, The Attic, was published in 1969. Her last short story collection, Terrible Faithfulness, earned her the Grand Austrian State Prize for Literature. Her work has been translated into several European languages, but The Wall is her only work available in English.