Austrian Literature Feature in Words Without Borders

Reverberations of History

In this month’s special feature, 2015 Guggenheim Fellow Tess Lewis translates and introduces a selection of contemporary fiction, poetry, and drama from Austria. Lewis writes: “Often lumped into the unwieldy category of German-language literature or overshadowed by Austria’s literary giants, many of its most interesting writers have yet to be translated into English. A country of eight million people, Austria has six official languages. A century ago, under the Hapsburg Empire, more than twice that many ethnic and linguistic groups were bound in a fruitful if sharp-elbowed co-existence and those creative tensions invigorate Austrian writing to this day.” In their distinct ways, these pieces are animated by the frictions that have energized Austrian literature for generations, from Joseph Roth and Robert Musil to the four writers featured here.
Maja Haderlap 2 poems
Karl-Markus Gauss
Alois Hotschnig
Antonio Fian