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 Gudula Walterskirchen has gathered previously unpublished letters, diaries and recollections which bring that year of great turmoil back to life.
Kapfenberg in the Austrian Steiermark region, 1957: In the course of a custody battle, Anna Koinegg reports her child’s father, a former member of the Waffen-SS, for having participated in the execution of Jews. The accusation relates to the shooting of 29 Hungarian Jewish forced labourers in Jennersdorf in the early days of 1945, in which he was supposedly involved. But the political mood favours suppression and the charges are brushed under the carpet – until in 1966 the German authorities become involved and the case lands on the desk of former Spanish Civil War activist and detective Hans Landauer. Together the Mannheim lawyers and the disagreeable inspector from Vienna travel to Jennersdorf, to brake the wall of silence and uncover the traces of a massacre that nobody wants to remember...
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.
A book about responsibilities, the meaning of life and happiness in our age. We live in a hysterical time. A time that enables material wealth and incessant communication, but abandons the individual to his feelings isolation. After the failure of the big political utopias, our longing for happiness, attachment and closeness is all the greater, but we are trapped in our fragmented, accelerated day-to-day lives. The humanist psychologist and author Catalin Dorian Florescu counters this with the image of a serene, creative person capable of relating to others. In the autonomous concentration on their own self, the individual can overcome the attention crisis of our times and build meaningful relationships to others and the world around them.
Green Islam – The beginning of a global environmental movement
How does the Muslim world deal with ecological issues? What is different about Eco-Islam? When and where did the first initiatives spring up? And how do Muslims incorporate this new awareness into their daily lives? The Eco-Islam movement is a strong voice in the battle for climate protection, from the founding of the environmental protection organisation IFEES by the British national Fazlun Khalid, through to the international Istanbul Conference in 2015. Wider society also plays an important role, providing commitment and new solutions. Ursula Kowanda-Yassin casts a critical eye on Europe, the US, the Arab World and Asia. This book is the first to offer a journey through the diverse world of Muslim endeavours for sustainability.
Adolf Holl has many professions: priest, scholar, prophet, heretic, writer, provocateur and eroticist. Born in Vienna in 1930 and ordained to priesthood in 1954, his international best-seller “Jesus in Bad Company” (1971, originally published in German as “Jesus in schlechter Gesellschaft”) brought him into conflict with the Catholic Church. As a result, his licence to teach was withdrawn and he was suspended from his priestly duties. His quick-witted questioning earned him rebuke from church authorities, but also great prominence. Harald Klauhs, a highly knowledgeable authority on Holl’s work, has now written a biography of this wayward thinker. Holl’s life as a tour de force through western intellectual history is at the same time a description of the Second Austrian Republic.
He was a controversial figure, decried as a pornographer, and had to fight for recognition. When Egon Schiele died of the Spanish flu at the age of 28, he left behind a vast oeuvre of 330 paintings and almost 3000 works on paper. Gregor Mayer portrays this extraordinary artist’s journey through life. He describes the context in which Schiele’s artistry developed and the sources from which he drew his inspiration. A sense of crisis, a notion of impending upheaval overshadowed the era in which Schiele was active. This outlook is not entirely alien to us. What makes this book particularly appealing is that Gregor Mayer succeeds in establishing a connection to our current times via Schiele’s life story.
With intellectual precision and an uncompromising approach, Olga Flor takes a stand against the kind of populist propaganda that is currently so eager to pose as representing the perceived majority opinion of a vaguely defined section of the public. These “politics of emotion” exploit justified fears, rather than analyse their true cause. The increasing lack of economic transparency and growing information density are their feeding ground, simplistic finger-pointing and “gut feelings” their ideological capital. Against this, Olga Flor sets the need for a public discourse that permits dissension and doesn’t shy away from the complexity of the facts, that aims to enlighten rather than obscure.
“Bad people are always fine.” With this mantra and other cynical remarks, the narrator has made himself the revered as well as hated focal point of a bored upper class clique. What nobody knows is that he lives off badly paid mini jobs and a very unusual gift: alcohol turns him into a mind reader. He’s a fraud who exploits the stupidity of the shallow hipster gang, but he’s also a charming improvisation artist who finds true love in the glamorous Tarán. Driven by necessity, he entangles himself in an increasingly absurd web of lies, in which tattooed Mafia bosses and wild car chases are part of everyday life. But this balancing act only succeeds until Mr Neubauer turns up...