Affectionate and accurate: Cornelia Hülmbauer‘s debut novel is a book to which we should listen closely and from which we cannot get enough.
Cornelia Hülmbauer describes childhood and teenage years in the country side using snapshots and images created from memory. A car workshop and a four-person family are providing the setting for this story of growing up; intimate experiences are mixed with poignant, witty scenes. Her text is so tightly intertwined and her descriptions so accurate that one is almost able to experience taste, smell, sensations and desires physically. In front of our eyes the “image of the author as a young girl” assumes shape. Seamlessly effortless, Cornelia Hülmbauer succeeds in revealing the past itself as well as the act of remembrance and the development of a literary sensitivity through short passages.
A posthumanist utopian novel, ecstatic and incredibly clear-sighted.
In Anemos, a post-apocalyptic irradiated city, a precariously balanced community of mixed beings and mutants has formed - for their common survival they need the luminous jellyfish Oberon, who ensures the city's water supply, but also the antlered Titania, who takes care of the city's wild festivals. But one year the festival of Walpurgis ends with Oberon's death in love - and the little slime animal Müxerl has to take over Oberon's duties, because: What you break, you must fix, so demands the law of Anemos. What, asks Elisabeth Klar, comes after the Anthropocene? And what laws can a society make for itself in order not only to survive under adverse circumstances, but also to want to live?
When you’re out of money but there’s still plenty of month left to go, you’ve got to get a bit creative.
Badly paid jobs, divorces; the highs and lows of life as an artist or a reckless propensity for the finer things in life – the reasons for poverty in old age are as varied as the women themselves, but the only remedies are creativity and solidarity. Erika, a retired teacher, Lilli, an unsuccessful musician, Anna, a widowed spendthrift, and Ursula, a nurse with a fatal fondness for exotic love affairs, set up ‘Learn with Gran’, organise flea markets, bake cakes and cultivate Erika’s allotment. When that isn’t enough, they decide to try their luck with rather less legitimate tactics …
Writing with her usual concision and black humour, Evelyn Grill offers a detailed depiction of loneliness in dark times.
An old woman sits in an armchair. Her mind turns to her Aunt Paula, from whom she inherited the piece of furniture, and to her own enforced solitude. Outside, the pandemic is raging, and she has been designated a ‘vulnerable person’. As such, she has been sequestered away as a precautionary measure – ‘kept in a sterile environment’. Maybe she’ll turn one hundred under this bell jar. Aunt Paula, on the other hand, didn’t even make it to fifty. She was deported, and the armchair is all that’s left of her. The old woman’s thoughts – sometimes clear as crystal, but growing increasingly confused – keep returning to the lives that are protected and those that are considered ‘worthless’, to social violence – and to the pleasures of not being bothered by anybody.
A man as a woman as a man? A woman as a man as a woman? Barbara Vinken revels in analysing fashion as a game played with gender and identity.
Do we dress as women or as men? Are our clothes simply a form of self-expression or are we also conveying a wealth of social codes? Fashion, according to Barbara Vinken, is always simultaneously a language, a set of conventions to which we are subject, and a means of defying those conventions – surrendering ourselves to the charms of dressing up. Only as a game played with gender, class and identity is fashion capable of performing gender as a sophisticated rhetorical construct. What fashion does, therefore, is not to erase gender, not to make gender fluid, but to radically unsettle and juxtapose the constructs of ‘femininity’ and ‘masculinity’. Provocative, witty and brilliant.
There’s no reason to give up, says Mieze Medusa, writing with humour and warmth – and especially not if you’re a woman!
Friends and partners, mothers and daughters: Mieze Medusa’s captivating new novel is all about women and their right to not give a monkey’s about ‘what people say about them’. Laura, a native of Tyrol, lives in Innsbruck and hates skiing, cosy romantic chalets and the magic of the Alps. Forty-year-old Frederike, known as Fred, still hasn’t settled down and is frequently out of work. She lives in Vienna, previously with Marlis – until she falls in love with musician Milla YoloBitch. Marlis wants a baby, Fred wants Milla, Milla wants to rap, Laura wants to draw comics, Laura’s sister Isabella wants a family and a career. And although not all their wishes will come true, in this novel Mieze Medusa makes a passionate case for allowing women to be, become and want anything they please.
In a novel at once merciless and tender, Moritz Franz Beichl explores lovesickness, depression and what it means to have a lust for life.
Moritz Franz Beichl’s compelling debut novel is an unrestrained hymn to desire, but also bears unvarnished witness to the realities of living with depression and bipolar disorder. When the narrator is abandoned by his boyfriend and – after a suicide attempt – is admitted to a psychiatric ward, he begins messaging his lost love. He texts obsessively, without hoping for a reply, but is lucid and ironic when discussing conditions at the hospital. After being discharged, he tries to find a precarious balance in his new life between ordinary everyday reality and excess. Building on these intimate, confessional passages, Beichl explores society’s treatment of feelings and bodies, of non-normative psyches and queer desires.
Two vociferous thinkers have teamed up to write a passionate plea in favour of action and against fatalism and apathy.
The warming of our planet is a global emergency. We have altered the world to such an extent that the resulting change threatens not only us and our health, but the entire planet Earth. The only remedy is a comprehensive transformation of our way of life and economic systems. Yet most concerned individuals assume that they themselves cannot make a difference, given the extent of the threat. This also applies to scientists, as well as economic and political decision makers. But that’s not the case – as this spirited book points out. In 'Leap across the Abyss', physicist Harald Lesch and doctor Martin Herrmann issue a joint appeal for people to overcome their state of paralysis and promote the "big transformation".
Kaśka Bryla's manic realism draws the reader under its spell, in this highly topical and painfully intense novel.
Iga the skateboarder, the beautiful Jess and their chubby friend Ras are outsiders at their school, but the bond between them is strong. Secretive and inseparable, they call themselves the "Ice Divers". One night, the youngsters witness a brutal assault by the police. When the iniquity remains without repercussions, they decide to take the law into their own hands. Twenty years later, a mysterious stranger turns up who seems to know about the act of revenge that took place all that time ago. The precarious balance is under threat. Kaśka Bryla skilfully weaves a gripping story about the causes of radicalisation into a plea for solidarity and love. Not for the faint-hearted, this novel will be warmly embraced by passionate spirits!
Loving father and angry hate post writer – Paul Sarianidis is both. When he is exposed online, he finds himself fighting for his dignity, his family and even his life.
With 'Zebra at War', Vladimir Vertlib has produced a masterful work that casts a wry yet affectionate and empathetic look at the dark side of humanity and politics. Paul Sarianidis lives with his family in an Eastern European seaside town, in a region run down by years of civil war. When he is made redundant, he becomes increasingly embroiled in the vicious debates that rage on social media. One day, Paul is arrested by Boris Lupowitsch, a rebel leader whom he has threatened online. Lupowitsch holds him to account on camera. Paul is mocked and humiliated, and the resulting video is watched by millions. How can he carry on living with the shame?