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Distributed for Seagull Books

The Radio Family

Translated by Mike Mitchell, with an Afterword by Joseph McVeigh

Ingeborg Bachmann (1926-1973) is recognized as one of post-war German literature’s most important novelists, poets, and playwrights. Influenced by Hans Weigel and the legendary literary circle Gruppe 47, Bachmann gained international renown for her poems, short stories, and novels, and won numerous awards for her work. Sadly, her life ended abruptly in October of 1973 when a lit cigarette burned down her apartment causing Bachmann to suffer severe burns that would eventually prove fatal. The author was only forty-seven, and her tragic death left what could have been a long and lustrous writing career regretfully stunted.

Nearly twenty years after her death, during an estate sale in Vienna, fifteen episodes of the popular Viennese radio drama The Radio Family were discovered. Remarkably, they happened to be written by Ingeborg Bachmann herself, who had been a writer on the show just after she graduated university.  The Radio Family was a popular radio soap opera broadcast in the American sector of occupied Vienna in the 1950s. The program focused on a middle-class Viennese family and their everyday life. Topics ranged from birthday parties and holiday plans to profiteering and currency fraud in the commercial sector, and Austrians’ involvement in the Nazi past. All fifteen scripts have now been compiled and masterfully translated, revealing an early and significant piece of Bachmann’s body of work, while simultaneously offering a rare glimpse into Vienna’s quotidian history.

400 pages | 5 x 8 1/2 | © 2014

The Seagull Library of German Literature

Literature and Literary Criticism: Dramatic Works

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Table of Contents

Episode 1: Lending Money | Guido
Episode 4: Birthday | Wolferl, Liesl
Episode 9: Holiday Plans
Episode 10: Lumbago
Episode 15: Back to School
Episode 18: Horoscope
Episode 20: The D. P.
Episode 21: Archduke Guido
Episode 24: The Tedious Dr. Panigl
Episode 29: The Last Sunday before Christmas
Episode 32: The Florianis Go to the Theatre
Episode 41: A Birthday Surprise: A Child is Coming from Holland
Episode 45: Psychology in Purkersdorf
Episode 54: The Art Exhibition
Episode 63: Puppet Show II
Joseph McVeigh
Appendix A: Those Involved
Appendix B: List of Episodes
Appendix C: Notes on the Typescripts

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