In his “Life Journey”, Alois Brandstetter recounts the remarkable story of how he made his way from 7th child of a miller and farmer to academic and author. Yet this pilgrimage into the past is delightfully tongue-in-cheek. Scenes and images from Brandstetter’s childhood and youth in rural Upper Austria alternate with humorous observations on modern life, as well as notes on impressions gained and encounters made as an avid reader. His travels on the trail of his namesake Saint Aloysius provide a fitting framework for the intimately and vividly narrated reminiscences.
Roland K., multiple murderer and rapist, is serving his sentence in Berlin’s Moabit prison. His connection to Mania, the prison psychologist, seems deeper than a few therapy sessions might suggest. When Mania’s childhood friend Tomek disappears in Vienna, she embarks on a desperate search for him with the help of Ruth, a hacker. Thus begins a dynamically narrated race against time. Will they find Tomek? Does Tomek even want to be found? And what does any of this have to do with Roland K.? With courage and verve, Kaśka Bryla intertwines the enduring questions of guilt and forgiveness, good and evil, with an unexpected love story to deliver a gripping road novel.
Jay Immer, son of Austrian immigrants, loving husband and a dutiful Chicago policeman, is 55 when the American dream catches up with him. He is elected to be the 40th president of the United States or, more accurately, his double. From that point on, he acts as a substitute for Ronald Reagan wherever Reagan can’t be – at shopping mall inaugurations and burger eating competitions, at parties and photo calls. But when Jay discovers his own voice and becomes involved in the environmental movement, cracks start to form in the idyll. Touching, highly topical and full of tragicomical humour, Clemens Berger’s narrative peers behind the facade of power and tells the unforgettable story of a man who stepped onto the stage of global politics to provide a swimming pool for his wife Lucy.
Berlin before the fall of the wall, China before the massacre on Tiananmen Square – in a world full of irredeemable promises, a generation drifts along as it searches for a different life. Set in a wintry Berlin rich with dark taverns and opulent cafés, the narrator and his rag-tag circle of friends try to invent a new kind of freedom. At the heart of the clique is the dazzling Nina. She holds everyone in her spell, but is herself at the mercy of her inner voices and their dangerous insinuations. A one-way ticket to Beijing offers a way out. The narrator leaves everything behind and sets off to travel through a China in turmoil, but in this vast blue empire his attempt to forget remains futile.
Clara has always been fascinated by flying. Or is it just the ability to flee that attracts her? Now, it seems she has achieved her aim. As a pilot working for a budget airline she asserts herself in a ruthless male world, conquering the skies from Bangkok to Berlin, Colombo to Cancun and Mombasa to Madrid. She can deftly steer a Boeing 777 through violent turbulences, but her own life is rapidly sliding out of control. Torn between two men and haunted by memories of early abuse, she restlessly roams through the faceless airports and foreign cities of her itinerary. It's only when she retreats to the tropical island of Sri Lanka, an island ravaged by civil war, that Clara manages to confront the ghosts of her past.
Everyone senses it – the space for those who think differently, act differently and love differently is shrinking once more, the threat is increasing. But for now the 'Heaven Bound' still exists. Its glitzy stage is the home of the drag queens and a refuge for outsiders and night birds. Tucked out of sight, the bar is the only place where even Sylvia feels safe. As a young vixen on the run, Sylvia plucked a human skin from a clothes line and has lived as a woman among people ever since. She shares her live with Jonathan, a dreamer and self-professed world saviour. When a feathered tumour grows on Jonathan's back and his transformation begins, it becomes clear that not everything with wings can fly. But the utopia of the 'Heaven Bound' will always be worth fighting for.
The twelve nights between Christmas and Epiphany are a mystical time – a time in which nature stands still and the boundaries between our world and the supernatural realm appear suspended. In Alpine regions and Nordic countries, the Twelve Nights are the source of numerous fables. People talk to animals, goblins populate human dwellings, wishes come true and the Wild Hunt rides across the land. This openness to magic and folklore, this moment of pausing and taking stock, have long been a source of fascination to Harald Krassnitzer – and hold a special significance in our hectic times. In this book, Krassnitzer brings together his favourite legends and tales relating to the Twelve Nights, accompanied by personal reflections
Peter Rosei has always been on the move, led by an unfailing curiosity for landscapes and cities, people and their stories. 'The Great Road' for the first time brings together the chronicles of his travels across five decades and three continents. We get to know Peter Rosei as an acutely observant and knowledgeable traveller, who is open to impressions and images, scents and sounds. He steadily approaches the unknown and brings it close, without diminishing its fascination. This wonderfully labyrinthine book takes us from Peking to Los Alamos, from Seoul to Moscow, from Paris to Texas via Bratislava and Istanbul, brimming with the author's appreciation for the vibrancy of the world and the diversity of human life and survival.
Michael Köhlmeier's contemplations on We are a plea for an inclusive community. The We can soothe, because it offers the lonely I a home and a notion of where it comes from. This We can provide integration. It is close to the I, it tells stories. But We is also a uniform that can be worn. Anyone can become the enemy of this We, it turns us into opportunists and dogmatists. This military We generates myths to sanction ideologies. But how does one We turn into the other? How does intimate family history turn into an ardent desire to kill and die for something that nobody has ever seen? And what can be done to prevent this transformation? The great raconteur Michael Köhlmeier delves deeply into the two-faced nature of We.
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.