Who was Gerhard Fritsch? One of the most significant Austrian authors of the post-war era, to be named in the same breath as Hans Lebert or Thomas Bernhard? A highly active literary figure, who as a reviewer, editor, critic and member of numerous juries significantly influenced the literary world of his time? A driven individual, who was married three times, fathered four children and in the end hanged himself dressed in women's clothes? The author of "Moos auf den Steinen" and "Fasching" who cut his life short was all that and more. Accessible to the public for the first time, his diaries offer an insight into his creative crises, flights of fancy and private transvestite yearnings. But above all, they show us Gerhard Fritsch as a tireless writer and enable an entirely new reading of his work.
Fear is a basic human emotion, but it shouldn’t rule a person’s life. Everyone feels fear at certain times. It is a primal feeling that can dominate our being. Nothing is as defining as mental anxiety. Fear paralyses us. Makes us ill. But it can also drive us to peak performance. Fear opens the gates of the human psyche for numerous mental disturbances: Panic, phobias and personal worries, depression, obsessive-compulsive disorders and addictions. What is the nature of fear? What function does it have? How can fear be utilised or overcome? Why do people seek out fear by watching horror films or by participating in extreme sports? In their new book, Georg Psota and Michael Horowitz provide answers to these questions and present a way out of fear.
For Albert Einstein she was “our Madame Curie”, for the Nazis an unwanted Jew and for the tabloid press “the mother of the atom bomb”. Only the second woman to receive a doctorate in physics, Lise Meitner graduated from the University of Vienna in 1906 and established herself in the male dominated science community. In 1938 she fled from the National Socialists and settled in Sweden, where she achieved her big breakthrough together with Otto Frisch: the discovery of the principle of nuclear fission. But the Nobel Prize she deserved eluded her. She spent the final years of her life in Cambridge. The authors paint a portrait of Meitner’s life against the backdrop of the rapid progress of nuclear physics and the great catastrophes of the 20th century, and provide new insights in the world of this unique scientist.
Never in human history has life changed so dramatically in such a short time for so many people as it has in China over the past 30 years. Under the command of state president and party leader Xi Jinping, China is storming its way into the top tier of global powers. Raimund Löw and Kerstin Witt-Löw have first-hand experience of the material rise of the Chinese middle classes and the country’s strict boundaries specified through censorship and political patronization. Raimund Löw has also reported from Peking and Hong Kong for the Austrian Broadcasting Corporation ORF. What remains of Mao? How does Peking intend to deal with the smog and the poisoning of the environment? How does China view its role in the world? These are some of the issues discussed in this analytical reportage on the 21st century’s greatest emerging superpower.
Nikolaus Harnoncourt’s childhood and youth was shaped by hardship and the after-effects of World War II, the parenting codex of the aristocracy to which his family belonged and the love for music. The world was in upheaval, it was a time of great political and societal change. To give his children and grandchildren a greater understanding of this era Harnoncourt wrote down his memories and reflections in a “family book”. How did his family deal with the economic and political shifts? What was life like when everything was no longer what it had been? And what traditions shaped the Harnoncourt family? Nikolaus Harnoncourt’s personal account is a fascinating record of the past.
Does E. love the theatre? Does one ask a fish whether it loves the water? Emmy Werner created her first theatre under her parents’ dining table, a favourite refuge of wartime children. After her early years as an actress she was soon drawn backstage. Only here was she able to develop her full potential – eventually taking on the role of theatre director. But what was life like for a woman who wasn’t prepared to remain invisible in her husband’s shadow? What prejudices did she face? Emmy Werner has written a book that shows courage and gives courages. It is a humorous account that ponders the path of a headstrong woman.
Arno Köster became acquainted with the land and people of Kenya over the course of numerous visits. He has initiated and coordinated sustainable projects for the Udo Lindenberg Foundation since 2011, focusing on education and water supply. “Hope for Kenya” tells of the successes, problems and outcomes of the aid. Stakeholders, aid workers, project leaders, as well as local partners and friends of the Udo Lindenberg Foundation have their say. Köster describes a country that is undergoing great changes. He draws a picture that reveals the numerous facets of Kenya between modernity and tradition, corruption and tribal politics, autocracy and democracy. Above it all rests the hope for a better future.
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.