The Piano Teacher by Elfriede Jelinek Serpent's Tail $128 Pushing 40 and unmarried, Erika Kohut is ruthless with her piano students at the Vienna Conservatoire. She lives with her domineering mother, who wanted her to be a concert pianist. Her father is dying in a mental hospital. After hours, Erika visits porno shops for peep shows, and cruises a drive-in cinema to spy on couples having sex. She mutilates her genitals with a razor and has a masochistic affair with a student, who batters and rapes her. When Jelinek won last year's Nobel Prize, the academy described one of her main themes as the inability of women to 'fully come to life in a world where they are painted over with stereotypical images'. It also praised her for 'works that denounce sexual violence as well as oppression and right-wing extremism in Austria'.