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 unique rationale behind Nikolaus Harnoncourt's practice of music brought him fame across the entire musical world. With his ensemble Concentus Musicus he broke established traditions and opened up new approaches to interpreting old music. This was in part the result of his intensive research into the sound produced by original period instruments, but more significantly came about as a consequence of questioning conventional hearing habits. What exactly is music? What effect does it have? And what were the intentions of its creators? Harnoncourt's writing on performance practices, baroque music and instruments such as the harpsichord reads like eloquent music making. A wondrous journey through the history of music.
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
For almost 270 years, Japan was an island state with no contact to the outside world. This enabled the development of a highly independent culture and society, of which Japan remains proud to this day. For many Westerners, Japan still appears exotic and foreign, yet the country also shares many traits with the industrialised nations of the West. What do Japanese society, economy and politics look like in the 21st century? Have attitudes towards nuclear power generation changed in the wake of Fukushima? Why do many young Japanese show little interest in starting a family? Japan specialist Judith Brandner follows the line from historic Japan to modern society. An engaging journey into a country which many Westerners still know little about.
A journey through Europe and it's unresolved history
A Hungarian prime minister makes a Jewish billionaire into public enemy number one for the sake of an anti-European election campaign. In Barcelona, nationalist politicians go to jail for a vague dream of freedom, and Britain's EU opponents orchestrate Brexit as a fight against German supremacy. Europe is undergoing the greatest crisis since WW2. Konrad Kramar has visited the current hot spots of trouble. Beyond the bluster of populist campaigning and anti-European agitation, he shines a light on the rifts in nations and societies and traces them back to their origins in war, violence and displacement. Kramar explains why current politics has no answers to these crises and shows where solutions might be found.
Renée Schroeder is a multi-faceted woman. A biochemist based in Vienna, she fought her way to the top of the international scientific community. No small undertaking for a woman in this field. Now in her 'unretirement', she has started a new career on her own farm, researching wild herbs. Renée Schroeder's life has never been conventional. Born in Brazil in 1953, her family moved to Luxembourg when she was a child and then to the Austrian town of Bruck an der Mur. After training in Munich, Paris and the US, she settled in Vienna to build her career. A staunch atheist, she has fought many battles relating to science and feminism. This is a compelling biography about an extraordinary and strong-minded woman.
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.
Should you judge a person based on the questions they ask or the answers they give? Sven Michaelsen's reply is unambiguous. Asking ourselves and others the rights questions decides whether our life is successful or wasted. It isn't opinions and assertions that lead us to truth and understanding, it's the curvy question mark. This book shuns run-of-the-mill wisdoms proclaimed by self-professed life coaches to focus instead on the art of smart reflection – on love and happiness, money and a high-flying career or sex and beauty. Michaelsen's writing is at times entertaining and humorous, at times instructive and sombre.
Reading Michaelsen's book of 666 questions will teach you more about yourself than ever before.
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.