“How can I master the scene of my childhood? How can I visualize its forms?” asks the first-person narrator in Maja Haderlap’s Angel of Oblivion. The novel narrates the story of a small girl and her family after the Second World War in Austria who speak Slovenian as their home language. Through the main character, we learn about the family’s resistance to the National Socialists, as well as experience their personal narrative to understand their integration within the larger German and Slovenian-speaking worlds. The story not only depicts a single family and their tale, but symbolically represents that of the entire nation. Beautifully narrated in varying levels of complexity as the child grows, the novel has received much critical acclaim.
Winner of the Ingeborg Bachmann Prize 2011, the Ravensburger Verlag Foundation Prize, the Bruno Kreisky Prize as well as France’s First Novel Prize, Angel of Oblivion’s English translation by Tess Lewis received the Austrian Cultural Forum’s Translation Prize. Both Dr. Haderlap (Ph.D. University of Vienna) and Ms. Lewis visited the Library of Congress in September 2016.
Maja Haderlap (b. August 1961) won the Ingeborg Bachmann-Prize. She grew up speaking both Slovenian and German. Angel of Oblivion is a semi-autobiographical novel based on her own life.
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