K. is an occasional critic, a second-tier commentator who nevertheless writes about important books for a number of well-known broadcasting companies. The discussions he holds with editors about recent publications by Martin Walser, Martin Mosebach, Thomas Hettche, Fritz J. Raddatz and many others are outspoken, witty and direct. At the same time, K. is increasingly preoccupied by questions of survival and moves from Stuttgart to Leipzig because the rents are cheaper. But the fight over time slots for book reviews gets harder ... Has K. himself become incapable of continuing his work, or is he the victim of a book review that is committing self-eradication?
Who can see through the jungle of Austria’s latest economic scandals? What caused them, who was pulling which strings and who made money out of them? Following years of research, investigative journalist Ashwien Sankholkar looks for answers and documents the nation’s most controversial corruption cases. Each one is like a crime thriller – from the Eurofighter scandal to the Buwog affair, from the Telekom Austria case to the Burgtheater scandal. But how did the mismanagement occur? Was it preventable? What could repeat itself? Sankholkar delivers a highly topical chronicle of the scandals and sketches out his personal approach regarding solutions. It is a spectacular book that provides a valuable contribution to the debate.
Nikolaus Harnoncourt devoted himself to the study of early music, the way it is played and the sound of period instruments from an early age. In 1953 he founded the famous Concentus Musicus with his wife Alice and other musicians. This was to provide a forum for his work on period instruments and the historic performance practice of renaissance and baroque music. It was not until four years later that the Concentus Musicus first performed in public. Alice Harnoncourt has brought together the unpublished diary entries and notes of her husband, which recount his explorations on the trail of early musical sounds. It is a fascinating and entertaining journey, during which Harnoncourt had to accomplish much to listen his way towards the original period sound.
We are taught to set ourselves targets. We train our body and function in accordance with social protocols. We try to be successful and a perfect partner in matters of the heart. But this balancing act is often not achieved. The body becomes tired and threatens to buckle under the stress, or we experience inner conflict. But who is in the right: body, heart or mind? How do I become me, and who am I? Our thoughts appear to be free, but in truth are tied to our body. Georg Fraberger, himself severely physically disabled from birth, illustrates how we can lead a balanced life through the harmonious connection of body, heart and mind.
Born into a Jewish pre-war family in Vienna, Fritzi’s childhood is characterised by visits to the Viennese Prater and early romances. As a young woman, she flees to England to escape Nazi persecution. She marries Theo, returns to Vienna and is a vivacious and warm-hearted mother to her daughter Lea. But sometimes, Fritzi is so overcome with a nameless sorrow that she cannot get out of bed in the morning. Later, her daughter Lea’s life also seems to be a success, full to the brim with marriage, children, grandchildren and career. Yet she too is haunted by dark dreams and family memories. When more and more people arrive in Vienna fleeing war and terror in Syria and Afghanistan, this challenges Lea’s feeling of helplessness and her successful life threatens to fall apart.
Spending a year in Antarctica and enduring the polar night in a research station takes stamina and determination. That is what Erika appears to have: a renowned bioacoustics specialist, she listens to whales, goes on long dives and challenges herself by practising aikido. Barely anyone knows that she does all of this in order to fight back a paralysing fear, the fear of a world that threatens to overwhelm her. Then musicologist Judith, a young woman full of contradictions, appears in her circle of friends. As the two women grow close, Erika suspects that Judith has given in to the same force that Erika is battling against. Perhaps she went crazy, or then again, perhaps she found a counter-spell and saved herself...
From an Austrian point of view, what relevance do the two Russian revolutions have? Many Austrian soldiers, serving under the Habsburg Monarchy’s army, were held prisoner in Russia following the First World War. What did they experience and what were their thoughts on the historic upheaval that not only forever changed Russia, but the entire world? What hopes and fears awaited them at home? How did Austrians comment on the development of a new world order, which would ultimately divide the world into two camps?
Verena Moritz presents and analyzes personal diaries, letters, newspaper articles and further as of now unpublished material. She successfully paints a vivid portrait of an era marked by major historical changes that have had an effect to this day.
When Barbara Nothegger became a mother in 2013, she and her family took the plunge and moved to a communal living project in Vienna. About 100 people got together and built an alternative living space with flexible apartments, communal gardens, open space for kids, and an ecological lifestyle. The community’s members wanted to be there for each other, just like people were in traditional villages. But how can community work in a world marked by individualism? Are communal living projects an answer to pressing issues of modern life such as isolation, rising rents, and increasingly depleted resources?
Barbara Nothegger takes a look at similar living projects in Germany and Switzerland and demonstrates how good neighborhood ties create a better quality of life. She humorously portrays her own path to happiness in the communal living project.
At the flea market Luise discovers an old wax cylinder, used to record sound more than a century ago. The label reveals it was recorded in 1903, in Vienna’s second district, where Luise happens to live. What does the voice from the past have to say? How well do we listen and what are we willing to hear? The characters in Poiarkov’s immersive debut novel deal with these questions as they face their own issues: Luise’s boyfriend Emil, a sound archivist who loves recording cracking ice and rumbling streets; Luise’s friend Milan who passionately yearns for beautiful Zorica from Novi Sad; her other friend Julia who must face her alcoholic mother; and Josef Grasl, Luise’s father, who roams the streets in search of ghosts from the past.
One hot day in August Elena celebrates her 88th birthday. Everyone is there: her daughters Martina and Renate, her grandson Daniel and his girlfriend Sasha. Their celebration is abundant, with lots of honey schnapps, wild polkas, and much joy. And yet, all Elena can think about is Martina’s childhood friend Rike who fell to her death from the cherry tree right here in the garden fifty years ago.
Tina Pruschmann’s intense and heart-felt debut novel delves deep into the lives and fates of its characters. It examines those special moments in life, those turning points that determine our future. They are days of irrevocable decisions; days when time and all its promises and desires come to a standstill.