Cover image for The wallcreeper
The wallcreeper
Zink, Nell, author.
Personal Author:
First edition.
Publication Information:
St. Louis, MO : Dorothy, a Publishing Project, [2014]
Physical Description:
193 pages ; 18 cm
"Nell Zink's debut novel follows a downwardly mobile secretary from Philadelphia who marries an ambitious soon-to-be-expat pharmaceutical researcher in hopes that she will never work again. They end up in Germany, where it turns out that her new husband is tougher, sneakier, more sincere, more contradictory, and smarter than she is; she'd naturally thought it was impossible. Life becomes complicated with affairs, birding, and eco-terrorism. Bad things happen, yet they stagger through, clinging to each other from a safe distance. Eventually our heroine commences building a life of her own, in imitation of her husband, one soggy brick at a time."--
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FICTION Adult Fiction Open Shelf

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Nell Zink's acclaimed first novel about an American couple living in Germany who become eco-terrorists.The novel that made Nell Zink an international literary sensation, The Wallcreeper tells the story of a bird-loving American couple that moves to Europe and becomes, essentially, eco-terrorists. In between is some hilarious writing about marriage, love, fidelity, Europe, and saving the earth.

Author Notes

Nell Zink was born in 1964 in southern California and grew up in rural Virginia. She attended Stuart Hall School and the College of William and Mary, where she majored in philosophy. Rather late in life she got a doctorate in Media Studies from the University of Tübingen, Germany. She lives in Bad Belzig, south of Berlin.

Reviews 1

Publisher's Weekly Review

Zink's debut novel is a weird, funny, sad, and sharp story of growing up. Opening with a car accident in which young married couple Tiffany and Stephen hit a wallcreeper (a bird that Stephen, a fanatical birder, adopts as a pet and names Rudolf), causing Tiffany to miscarry, the bulk of the novel follows the couple's push-and-pull years in Europe. Stephen, a stubborn and secretive pharmaceutical researcher stationed in Berne, makes enough money to support both of them; and Tiffany, who was bored at her last real job as a secretary, makes no bones about not wanting to work. In many ways, Tiffany and Stephen are the perfect match: they are both capricious, unfaithful (Stephen even sleeps with Tiffany's "bikini barista" sister, with Tiffany's blessing), and unsure of themselves. Their marriage is really just a loose agreement, and they spend most of the story drifting around each other: Stephen suffers an inner crisis and moves to Albania to study birds, while Tiffany, who's never had to work hard, passes her days alone on the Elbe tearing down levees to flood a forest in need of water. "I couldn't come up with a step I'd taken in life for my own sake," she says. Written in short, fragmentary sections, Zink masterfully captures the slippery nature of human intimacy, the ways in which relationships both thrive on emotional gray areas and jump from one black-and-white area to another (jealousy and indifference; blame and forgiveness; listlessness and wonder). This is the introduction of an exciting new voice. (Oct.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.