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Kaiser-Mühlecker, Reinhard

Magdalenaberg (Magdalenaberg)

Hoffmann und Campe, September 2009, 224 pp.
ISBN: 978-3-455-40192-9

In a work of incredible maturity for a twenty-something author, the reader is treated to writing of beautiful intensity, tranquillity, and a stillness that goes against the grain.
As the third anniversary of his brother’s accidental death approaches, the narrator – Joseph Wagenburg, a young man in his mid-thirties – is able at last to write something about Wilhelm’s death at the age of twenty-nine, hit by a tram in Vienna in 2005. The text also addresses the break-up of the narrator’s two-year relationship at that time with Katharina, the object of the affections of Joseph’s oldest friend, as well. The relationship with Katharina had begun on the day that Joseph decided to end a relationship with Lisa, the young woman over whom the two brothers had previously become estranged. She had challenged him on this lack of rapport with his brother and his empty notebook.
Place is important in this work. Wilhelm, a painter, moves to Vienna to study and later live, while Joseph studies in Graz. It is Joseph who returns to Pettenbach to visit his parents on the family farm – and his favourite spot on Magdalena Hill. Tragically, however, he is not to inherit the farm.
Painterly and quietly compelling.

‘This literary voice tells me that it can be blissful to read and to be alive.’Arnold Stadler, on Der lange Gang über die Stationen

‘The debut of the year.’Richard Kämmerlings, Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung


Reinhard Kaiser-Mühlecker was born in Kirchdorf an der Krems, Austria, in 1982 and grew up on his parents’ farm in Eberstalzell, Upper Austria. He studied agriculture, history and international development in Vienna. His debut novel Der lange Gang über die Stationen was published in 2008 and won its author the Jürgen Ponto Literature Prize and the Hermann Lenz bursary.

Previous works include:
Der lange Gang über die Stationen (reviewed in NBG Spring 2008).


Application for assistance with translation costs – Austria

Translation rights available from:
Hoffmann und Campe Verlag
Harvestehuder Weg 42
20149 Hamburg, Germany
Tel: +49 40 44188281
Contact: Valerie Schneider

Hoffmann und Campe Verlag was founded in 1781 by Benjamin Gottlob Hoffmann and his son-in-law August Campe. The family firm was Heinrich Heine’s publisher. Despite changing hands several times during the first half of the twentieth century, the firm managed to retain its liberal traditions. Its international fiction list includes the complete works of Siegfried Lenz as well as books by Doris Lessing, V.S. Naipaul, Andreï Makine, Irina Korschunow, John Grisham and Patricia Cornwell. The non-fiction lists include memoirs, philosophy, politics, economics, psychology, music and theology.