was born in Brno (Czech Republic) in 1972. Lives in Vienna where he studied Bohemistics and Journalism. Has since been working as a writer, translator and publisher. Numerous publications.He was awarded in the International Poetry Competition (Dublin, 2002) and with the Literaturpreis der Akademie Graz (Graz, 2003). Michael Stavarič is pricewinner of the Buch.Preis 2007 for his novel "stillborn" and got the Adelbert-von-Chamisso literary award 2008 for „Terminifera".
Why do all boats founder at a certain point? Why does everything go wrong? And why does somebody whom not a soul knows have everywhere a finger in the pie?
This pet shop keeper, the guy from next door: He is everywhere and nowhere at home, lives with a golden hamster (thus almost alone), is inconspicuous like a turtle and keeps aloof from people. He only gets in touch with water on and off, then there is a lot of action: assassinations, natural disasters, und permanently there are boats foundering somewhere. Small ones, big ones, the Titanic, with all hands. And always there is our pet shop keeper involved, has above all always already been there and knows too much. A person who doesn’t think of anything evil (of course!), but is he therefore one of us? Or maybe rather God and the devil and everybody’s fate?
Michael Stavaric is surfing through the centuries, back and forth, is landing in other eras and is in one phrase back in the present. He brings us news, comfort and warning: universal flux, even the stones, but also the devil never sleeps. History for Michael Stavaric consists of stories, but thousands of them – ones that you haven’t yet heard that way. This is about everything, from the very beginning... until the end, that won’t be a happy one, but neither a bitter one.
Elisa has one passion: empty apartments. The fact that she is a real estate agent presents only a limited accommodation to her infatuation, as during the day she is always busy finding people that fill up her apartments. But at night she is in her element, behind the doors that shut life out: there she feels safe. Until one apartment after the other is afflicted by an arsonist and goes up in flames. Georg, the investigating officer, is in the dark. And what is even worse, he soon catches fire himself, and is burning with love for Elisa. To make matters worse unsolved cases of murder from her childhood suddenly emerge together with Georg. Why can’t she remember anything? Would her mother know more?
All sorts of things happen, and yet Elisa can’t get rid of the notion that actually nothing is happening at all. Her daily routine is the only thing that keeps her going – all too often too fast – and there is always the fear that one day she might stop breathing because she could simply have forgotten…
Michael Stavarič writes two whodunits in one – and more than that: intriguingly he tells of an irresistible woman. His language is rhythmical, poetic and vibrant. Elisa, the monster, the saint. A woman whom one wishes in the end: live, damn it. Breathe!
Lois is a nurse, undoubtedly a profession with a reasonable amount of decency. He truly knows how it feels to be entrusted to people who only want the best for you: a childhood in an orphanage, over the hills and far away, is also far away from a fairy tale. As an adult, the world still does not feel like home to him, and neither does Vienna: hairy monsters stroll along Mariahilferstraße, ants are building a mega city under ground, and the city is sitting above it like a sleeping giant. His neighbour Kristina, on her part, has ambitions: private ones that include Lois, professional ones that include pathology. One day, Lois discovers migratory locusts on his windowsill, tiny and fragile monsters that the wind had taken far, far away. Just like Lois himself. Yet flying does not make you an angel, let alone Superman…
In his second novel, Michael Stavaric portraits another peculiar character facing an eerie world, and, to quote critics of his debut novel stillborn, he does it “brilliantly”, “masterly”, “linguistically overwhelming”.