Born-Where. (Studies in Austrian Literature, Culture, and Thought Translation Series)

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9781572410015: Born-Where. (Studies in Austrian Literature, Culture, and Thought Translation Series)
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This is a novel about origins, a novel about the wages of history. Its protagonists are contemporary Viennese and German Jews who are the children of those who were killed in the German extermination camps. The uneasy intertwining of their lives with contemporary Germans and Austrians constitutes the panoramic epic that the Viennese author unfolds with keen insight and mordant humor. The protagonist is a concentration-camp survivor, who is summoned back to Vienna to testify at a belated war-crime trial. In the course of his reluctant return, he meets the past and the present in Austria, making readers aware of how things were and how much of history and of the legacy of racism still lingers on today. This confrontation/assimilation makes for, among other things, an intergenerational, psychological ghost story. The book touches on every aspect of the unresolved and perhaps unresolvable relations between contemporary Germans/Austrians and Jews. One subtheme concerns the Left's resistance to Nazism. Another takes us inside the workings of contemporary Austrian bureaucracy. There are also the invariably impossible romantic relationships between Jews and Germans.

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About the Author:

Robert Schindel, born in 1944 in Bad Hall, Austria, survived the war hidden in Vienna after his parents were deported to Auschwitz. He currently lives as an author in Vienna.

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