studied acting at Max-Reinhardt Seminar and was a regular cast member at Vienna's Burgtheater until 1999. She writes and sings, acts in movies, and has published numerous books. In 2009 Erika Pluhar received the "Ehrenpreis des österreichischen Buchhandels für Toleranz in Denken und Handeln".
In writing that is frank and unvarnished, Erika Pluhar describes her sister’s traumatic experiences as a child during wartime and a post-war teen, experiences that forced her to take on responsibilities much too early, to adapt and make herself fit in. Gitti’s childhood and youth is shaped by tremendous upheaval: after living in Brazil for the first years of her life, she moves to Munich, where her father embarks on a career in the Nazi party, ultimately taking the family to occupied Poland. The war increasingly comes to dominate everyday life, and Gitti must face up to the challenges of adulthood … ‘better to hide the sadness within and make a secret of it. Yes, in a secret room that belongs only to me and remains invisible to everybody else, she thought.’
Fifty-one-year-old Hedwig Pflüger returns to the Vienna apartment hat she has inherited from her grandmother. She has kept away from the city and the old woman she grew up with for several decades. Now she faces a turning point in her life. The Viennese apartment is full of memories and in the stillness of the old building Hedwig starts to write about the past. The resulting account tells of a woman who struggled to meet the standardised requirements of her time; a woman who despite all her attempts kept sliding back into isolation and loneliness. But now, as she looks back and puts pen to paper, Hedwig learns to accept the present and open herself up to new challenges.
Her voice often attracts attention for its distinctiveness, so she might as well be heard in another sense – as the voice of an author and the 'person of public interest' that Erika Pluhar has become in the course of her life. Pluhar is a prolific writer of speeches, essays and articles, declaring her personal stance on political and socio-political issues, paying tribute to contemporaries or saying farewell to people she cherished. Her opinion is both sought and provided, and she speaks out when she feels it is necessary.
Henriette Lauber can look back at a life full of creativity and hard work. As a film cutter she experienced different worlds while working alongside her beloved husband. But all this was long ago and now she leads a withdrawn and almost isolated life in a small flat in the center of town. Her godson from Western Sahara, a politically active man who works in Algerian refugee camps, is the sole recipient of her love and attention. Then a dizzy spell in the hallway leads her to meet Linda, her young neighbor who begins to take care of Henriette and increasingly seeks her presence… Erika Pluhar tells the story of a friendship between to very different women, describing life patterns, the process of aging, and transience.