Patchwork families are a common occurrence these days. Yet much too little is said about the women who take on the role of stepmother in these new family structures. More often than not, they see the addition to the family as an enrichment. But how do they deal with the situation if their partner’s children reject them? Or if they don’t manage to develop feelings for their “bonus children”? What happens when sharing a home with your new partner threatens to founder on issues concerning the children? Because there is no universal script for being a stepmother and each family’s story is unique, this extensive analysis of the situation is supplemented by contributions from women talking about their personal experiences. This is a multifaceted reading book on the topic: unadorned, honest and sanguine.
1918 – End of war and new beginning in letters, diaries and recollections
1918 was a year of radical change and big emotions in Austria. How did the contemporary witnesses experience this time? The aristocracy, bourgeoisie and working classes have their say in authentic accounts. The book brings to light the extremely diverse assessments of that great upheaval. For some it signified the downfall of their homeland and their personal ruin, for others a hopeful new beginning: the mourning of Old Austria and the monarchy, hate for the aristocracy and the Habsburgs, the shock of having been defeated in war, embitterment and resignation, joy over the ending of the war and hope for better times. Gudula Walterskirchen has gathered previously unpublished letters, diaries and recollections which bring that year of great turmoil back to life.
Economic crises, the success of populist parties, the return of nationalistic reflexes, the rapidly advancing digitalisation of everyday life and work are reason enough for pessimism. Discussions are held in an increasingly aggressive tone, blatantly displayed ignorance rules the virtual and real-world debates. It seems as if everyone has an opinion, but nobody has any idea where the socio-political journey is taking us. All the more welcome is this guide for living in such unsettled times – knowledgeable and well-founded, yet with plenty of humour and irony. This is a book that engagingly addresses the big topics of the present age: populism, fear of downward mobility and pressure to perform, increased harshness of communication, yearning for leadership, anxiety about the future.
Green Islam – The beginning of a global environmental movement
How does the Muslim world deal with ecological issues? What is different about Eco-Islam? When and where did the first initiatives spring up? And how do Muslims incorporate this new awareness into their daily lives? The Eco-Islam movement is a strong voice in the battle for climate protection, from the founding of the environmental protection organisation IFEES by the British national Fazlun Khalid, through to the international Istanbul Conference in 2015. Wider society also plays an important role, providing commitment and new solutions. Ursula Kowanda-Yassin casts a critical eye on Europe, the US, the Arab World and Asia. This book is the first to offer a journey through the diverse world of Muslim endeavours for sustainability.
Adolf Holl has many professions: priest, scholar, prophet, heretic, writer, provocateur and eroticist. Born in Vienna in 1930 and ordained to priesthood in 1954, his international best-seller “Jesus in Bad Company” (1971, originally published in German as “Jesus in schlechter Gesellschaft”) brought him into conflict with the Catholic Church. As a result, his licence to teach was withdrawn and he was suspended from his priestly duties. His quick-witted questioning earned him rebuke from church authorities, but also great prominence. Harald Klauhs, a highly knowledgeable authority on Holl’s work, has now written a biography of this wayward thinker. Holl’s life as a tour de force through western intellectual history is at the same time a description of the Second Austrian Republic.
He was a controversial figure, decried as a pornographer, and had to fight for recognition. When Egon Schiele died of the Spanish flu at the age of 28, he left behind a vast oeuvre of 330 paintings and almost 3000 works on paper. Gregor Mayer portrays this extraordinary artist’s journey through life. He describes the context in which Schiele’s artistry developed and the sources from which he drew his inspiration. A sense of crisis, a notion of impending upheaval overshadowed the era in which Schiele was active. This outlook is not entirely alien to us. What makes this book particularly appealing is that Gregor Mayer succeeds in establishing a connection to our current times via Schiele’s life story.
In recent years farming practices and food production have grown into an issue that concerns us all. We’ve had enough: What was considered a boring topic interesting only to farmers fifty years ago, is now driving young people to the streets in protest. In the near future, the world will be populated by 10 billion people – how can we produce enough food to feed them all? Is organic agriculture the holy grail? And is it ethically acceptable to eat animals? Would high-tech based industrial farming destroy all rural areas, use up all our natural resources, and drive even more people into cities?
Urs Niggli points out possible solutions to the dilemma. Be warned: none of them promise an easy way out.
Urs Niggli born 1953, in the idyllic rural landscape of the Swiss Plateau. Today the region forms the hectic connecting axis between the country’s urban centers Zurich, Bern, and Basel. Niggli studied Agricultural Sciences and is head of the Research Institute of Organic Agriculture (FiBL). Under his leadership, FiBL has become one of the top think tanks for organic farming, humane animal husbandry, and sustainable practices.
The founding years of the Austrian Republic 1918-1920
The war had come to an end, the monarchy was in ruins, the Kaiser abdicated. New states were hurriedly formed: one of them called itself the Republic of German-Austria. As yet, no borders had been defined for the new state, there was no constitution to govern the political structure. German-Austria wanted to attach itself to the German Reich, Vorarlberg to Switzerland and a few territories flirted with free-state ideas. At the same time, the founding years of the First Republic were also a great awakening towards modernity. They laid the basis for a social democracy, included women in the political process and brought a new zest for life. The authors provide a panoramic view of the experimental laboratory of a nation’s self-discovery – leading to the birth of the Austrian Republic.
Alfred Pfoser, born 1952 in Wels, studied literature, history and journalism in Salzburg. From 1998 to 2007 he was Director of Vienna Public Libraries, from 2007 to 2016 Director of the printed materials collection and Assistant Director of the Vienna City Library. He has published numerous works on Austrian cultural and literary history. His most recently published book at Residenz Verlag: “Im Epizentrum des Zusammenbruchs. Wien im Ersten Weltkrieg” (2013). His current book, co-authored with Andreas Weigl and published by Residenz Verlag: “Die erste Stunde Null".
Andreas Weigl, born 1961 in Vienna, is an associate professor at the Department of Economic and Social History at Vienna University and Chairman of the Austrian “Arbeitskreis für Stadtgeschichtsforschung”. He has published a wide range of works on population, municipal and consumer history. His current book, co-authored with Alfred Poser and published by Residenz Verlag: "Die erste Stunde Null".
Why is this village in Burgenland so special? Well, there’s lots of reasons: Peter Handke developed the concept for his famous novel “Angst des Tormanns beim Elfmeter” in Neumarkt, just as Peter Turrini and Wilhelm Pevny wrote large parts of their “Alpensaga” here. We can find H.C. Artmann, Gerhard Roth, Friederike Mayröcker, Otto Breicha, Martin Kippenberger, Walter Pichler and many other exceptional personalities on this little village’s guest list.
They have worked, celebrated parties, fought, and gotten drunk in Neumarkt. Petra Schmögner and Peter Vukics explored, followed leads and collected everything they could find on the artist colony in order to tell us about it from the main protagonists’ point of view.
Petra Werkovits (former Schmögner), born 1971 in Southern Burgenland, grew up near and around the artist colony Neumarkt an der Raab, which she has been running since 2008. As librarian and cultural manager, she is mainly responsible for literary and artistic educational programs. Petra Schmögner lives in Vienna and Neumarkt an der Raab.
Peter Vukics, born 1966 in Vienna, works as a journalist in Vienna and Aachen.
Who can see through the jungle of Austria’s latest economic scandals? What caused them, who was pulling which strings and who made money out of them? Following years of research, investigative journalist Ashwien Sankholkar looks for answers and documents the nation’s most controversial corruption cases. Each one is like a crime thriller – from the Eurofighter scandal to the Buwog affair, from the Telekom Austria case to the Burgtheater scandal. But how did the mismanagement occur? Was it preventable? What could repeat itself? Sankholkar delivers a highly topical chronicle of the scandals and sketches out his personal approach regarding solutions. It is a spectacular book that provides a valuable contribution to the debate.
Born in 1975, Ashwien Sankholkar is an Austrian economic journalist. As a reporter for the weekly magazine “Format” he has exposed Austria’s biggest economic and political scandals, including the Buwog, Meinl and Immofinanz affairs. In 2011 Sankholkar was awarded the “Alfred Worm-Preis für investigativen Journalismus” in recognition of his achievements in unmasking malpractice. His current book published by Residenz Verlag: "Der geplünderte Staat und seine Profiteure".