logo kopfgrafik links adresse mitte kopfgrafik rechts
   

FÖRDERGEBER

   Bundeskanzleramt

   Wien Kultur

PARTNER/INNEN

   Netzwerk Literaturhaeuser

   mitSprache

   arte Kulturpartner
   Incentives

   Bindewerk

kopfgrafik mitte

Anna Mitgutsch: Die Annäherung

de    en    fr    span    cz 

(The Reconciliation)
A novel.
Munich: Luchterhand, 2016.
448 p; hardcover, Euro 23,70.
ISBN 978-3-630-87470-8.

Anna Mitgutsch

Excerpt

Father. Daughter. Stepmother. His past as a soldier in the Second World War, shrouded in silence for decades. An omnipresent death in the family. The narrative finesse of prizewinning novelist and intelligent essayist Anna Mitgutsch effortlessly transforms these elements into a novel about a family, the twentieth century, silence and forgetting, shame and attraction and, finally, about reconciliation.
Theo, a retired gardener, is ninety-six years old and has had a stroke from which he has fully recovered.
His daughter Frieda, over sixty and a former middle-school history teacher, has started to visit him again regularly, watched suspiciously by Theo’s second wife, Berta. Theo has been married to Berta for almost fifty years. The relationship between father and daughter, as a result of Berta’s scheming among other factors, has been difficult to near hostile for decades.
After Berta herself has a heart attack, from which she only partly recuperates, an aide joins the household – Ludmilla, a Ukrainian woman with no legal status.
Theo thrives under her closeness and care. But Berta becomes jealous and chases Ludmilla away, who returns to her small village in eastern Ukraine.
Theo then asks his daughter Frieda to drive to the Ukraine and bring Ludmilla money so that she will return to care for him in his last days.
Frieda grants her father this wish and leaves on a road trip with her partner Edgar, a retired music teacher with Jewish Ukrainian ancestors on his mother’s side. The money is handed over as planned, but Frieda does not pass on her father’s request for Ludmilla to come back.
Before they leave, Theo surprises Frieda by handing over his war diary – which she had never known existed – and its entries provide the historic underpinnings of their trip.

The final and fifth chapter describes Theo’s disappointment and his death.
At his graveside, Frieda and her long-estranged mother Melissa become closer again.
This novel about family and war, about characters and their weaknesses, shortcomings, and insights, about peace and the Holocaust, is permeated with a finespun melancholy.
The book thoughtfully circumnavigates the conflicts between those who took part and those who, like Frieda, want to bring light into the darkness. A truly remarkable book and perhaps Mitgutsch’s best, because most probing, novel.

Abbreviated review by Alexander Kluy, May 2016
English translation by Laura Radosh

Original: http://www.literaturhaus.at/index.php?id=11144

>> Incentives

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Link zur Druckansicht
Veranstaltungen
"20 Jahre Cognac & Biskotten"

Di, 18.09.2018, 19.00 Uhr Ausstellungseröffnung mit Lesung & Musik Sie ist eine...

Kombo Kosmopolit XII präsentiert: Maschinenwut Cornelia Hülmbauer & Jelena Andelovski

Mi, 19.09.2018, 19.00 Uhr Lesungen & Gespräch Die Lesungsreihe Kombo Kosmopolit sucht den...

Ausstellung
ZETTEL, ZITAT, DING: GESELLSCHAFT IM KASTEN Ein Projekt von Margret Kreidl

ab 11.06.2018 bis Juni 2019 Ausstellung | Bibliothek Der Zettelkatalog in der...

Cognac & Biskotten

Das schräge Tiroler Literaturmagazin feiert seinen 20. Geburtstag und präsentiert sich mit einer...

Tipp
flugschrift Nr. 24 von Lisa Spalt

Wenn Sie noch nie etwas vom IPA (dem Institut für poetische Allltagsverbesserung) gehört haben,...

Literaturfestivals in Österreich

Sommerzeit - Festivalzeit! Mit Literatur durch den Sommer und quer durch Österreich: O-Töne in...