For the people of a remote village in the foothills of the Austrian Alps, Wilma is a spawn of hell, a monster, and surely not one of them: she is a retarded, corpulent and close-lipped child - and a child without parents. Her helplessness, however, engages the love and sympathy of Agnes, a widowed and childless woman, who both embraces and clings to her fosterling. In constant anxiety for Wilma, she tries to protect their little happiness against the locals, youth welfare officials and all external threats. But their happiness is based on dependence, and in a narrow, secluded world, this can prove lethal...
In this book, Evelyn Grill demonstrates once more why her recent novels "Vanitas" and "Der Sammler" [The Collector] made her one of the most provocative voices of contemporary German-speaking literature. She writes uncompromisingly succinct, without sentimentality or shallow morality, and she is never afraid to explore the abysmal depths of the human soul.
Let’s worship this author! ANTON THUSWALDNER, SALZBURGER NACHRICHTEN
Grill loves to search for strange hobbies and weird passions. Great! DER SPIEGEL
What do I live for? What gives meaning to my life? It is a fundamental need of human beings to find their individual meaning in life. This holds particularly true for times of crisis. Meaning, however, means something different to every one of us, and it can also change in the course of life. The search for meaning is thus a very personal issue, and each answer is unique.
Alfred Längle explains the basic elements that help us to find our meaning in life. Step by step he guides the reader on his or her individual way.
The book features many practical examples, instructions and exercises, and the texts invite the reader to reflect on his or her personal life. It is a practical guide and an easy-to-read introduction to the basic concepts of logotherapy and existential analysis.
Lois is a nurse, undoubtedly a profession with a reasonable amount of decency. He truly knows how it feels to be entrusted to people who only want the best for you: a childhood in an orphanage, over the hills and far away, is also far away from a fairy tale. As an adult, the world still does not feel like home to him, and neither does Vienna: hairy monsters stroll along Mariahilferstraße, ants are building a mega city under ground, and the city is sitting above it like a sleeping giant. His neighbour Kristina, on her part, has ambitions: private ones that include Lois, professional ones that include pathology. One day, Lois discovers migratory locusts on his windowsill, tiny and fragile monsters that the wind had taken far, far away. Just like Lois himself. Yet flying does not make you an angel, let alone Superman…
In his second novel, Michael Stavaric portraits another peculiar character facing an eerie world, and, to quote critics of his debut novel stillborn, he does it “brilliantly”, “masterly”, “linguistically overwhelming”.
Two people make a pair, or a couple, and their relationships can be ruins, arenas, traps, abysses, fulfilment. Coincidence, desire, and life itself create amazing couples: A little girl and her imaginary father make a fantastic pair of liars; a young woman teams up with her unborn child against its father who is interested in his art only; a prisoner and his visitor share intense memories through the glass that separates them.
These are some of the encounters Erika Pluhar describes in this book. All of them reveal the magic that arises in any relationship between two people, be they just acquaintances or lovers, a powerful and fascinating energy that inevitably shows its effect on everyone involved. The stories tell how people change whenever they cling to each other, find each other, lose themselves in each other – whenever they meet, touch or find the magic of being twosome.
It must have been an irresistible joy for Günter Brus to invent these “stories”, and they definitely make an irresistible read. The book contains a collection of legends, anecdotes, fables, parables, or “bonsai novelettes”, as Brus himself called them with a twinkle in his eye.
Whatever you call them, they burst with inventiveness and ignite the firework of a literary pyromaniac.
Pepi Prohaska is a young man with lots of imagination and no less chutzpah. One day it occurs to him that God has something in mind for him. At first he retreats to the outskirts of Vienna. Later he will be gathering disciples around him, will send letters with a spirit of contradiction to politicians and finally he will disappear mysteriously.
His biographer Engelbert, who had gone to school with him, describes this career with a mixture of fascination and religious fear. Their paths cross, sometimes in a funny, sometimes in a fatal way. The constellation of the reluctant friend and the provocative hero is one of the finest attractions of this book. A great picaresque novel, full of pranks and holy rage.
"Pepi Prohaska Prophet", first edition published in 1986, was Peter Henisch's first book at the Residenz Verlag. Now, twenty years later, a revised and extended reprint is available.
Bulgaria? Backward, corrupt and lazy?
As the new ambassador in London, Varadin Dimitrov, is designated to enhance the image of Bulgaria in the West. When he rings the bell at the respectable address of the embassy in Kensington one morning, he finds that there is indeed a lot of work ahead of him: a provincial mayor at hangover breakfast, the cook at loggerheads with his wife, the vacuum cleaner – broken.
Indeed, the civilized world owes thanks to Bulgaria for the invention of the water closet, but that does not help the new ambassador on his mission, nor does the fact that his predecessor refuses to clear the house as he is desperately fighting his return home. And above all: the freezer in the cellar houses ducks kidnapped by the Russian Mafia.
Mission impossible? Varadin Dimitrov seeks assistance with a PR-Agency that promises him access to London's high society – glitter, glamour and dozens of celebrities. One of them is his cleaning lady; she leads a double life and moreover she's been dead for the longest time. There's something terribly wrong here, isn't it ….
Alek Popov tells of the East in the West and the West in the East. In this novel full of wonderful characters he tells a story of pure folly, sounding as if all of this were not in the least bit funny.
English translation available
At seventeen, daughters never have an easy time with their mothers: The leech is always too short and in Czechoslovakia it must be still a bit shorter. When people say "a chip off the old block" mothers are usually more pleased than daughters. Jasmine Bukovská does not give her mom any reason for such a pleasure as she resembles her aunt: the woman whom her father loved and still loves.
Marriage was thwarted by family reason. Then came Róza, the younger sister, satisfied her curiosity about life with the would-be brother-in-law, got pregnant and could be married. Three daughters sprang from this marriage: Iris, Jasmine and Kamilla. Life gets cramped at home as well as in the entire country. Spring in the year 1968 is the time of the great departure: Iris, the elder sister takes advantage of a gap in the Iron Curtain and emigrates to the United States of America, and also for Jasmine the temptation of leaving home and her home country behind grows ….
Zdenka Becker is at home between two countries and in two languages. In a questioning tone, but without vain over-verbalization she tells of the loss of old commitments and the search for a new identity.