Nomination for MIA Award 2013

I am very excited to announce my nomination for the MIA Award 2013 in category "Art and Culture". MIA Award is given annually to women with migration backgrounds who are especially successful in their field in Austria and who are active advocates in the issues of migration and women.

The award is handed out by the President of Austria, Dr. Heinz Fischer.

Please cross your fingers for me on 8 March 2013!

Link to my nomination:

MIA Awards 2013

 

The Pilot

Here the last few lines from my book “From Barbie to Vibrator”: The book brought me back to life.

But then, there was silence. And it lasted for a few days.

Patrick called first: “I knew it! It is all about Propella, Propella! It should have been called Propella Follies and not Laudonplace Follies!”  Beware of furious French Queens!

Siggi called next: “We read it, it is magnificent! It must be published!”

Then, Marcus called from Australia, totally excited: “We had such a sexy pilot on the flight! And he is STRAIGHT! During the whole flight, he was reading your book! He asked if all those sex things are true! He wants to meet you!”

At first, I liked the idea of meeting the pilot. Especially if he is still wearing his uniform. But then I imagined a plain crash in a jungle and somebody finding my book on pilot’s lap….. Oooops!

Message to all pilots:

Please, read my books in your hotel room. And for heaven’s sake, don’t take that uniform off! Wait until I am there! And yes, the sex parts are true.

Ah, I really like the idea of publishing this book

I’m doing this because yesterday, I heard shocking news that the pilot from this story, the last character in my book, died in a car crash couple of days ago. I heard he was handsome, charming and very professional. He was in his early forties and had one child. I never met him (the character Ana is not Ana) but I was deeply shocked about this news. A character from my book has died.

It is a strange feeling. Sad.

And I hate sounding kitschy, but I’m happy that with those few sentences, I was able grant him yet one more dimension of eternity.

RIP.

The 7th Crystal Ball

Last Friday, I had the most bizarre reading ever. I was reading from inside of a see-through balloon which was placed in the middle of the street. The idea was to create a stress-free zone in the city. Next to the balloon, there was a DJ, a bar, few lawn-chairs… I had to take my shoes off before I entered the balloon. I never read barefoot before. There is something different with reading barefoot. It makes the situation more intimate.

From inside of the balloon, the audience was blurred. The sounds were blurred. I could see them and hear them but there was this protecting shield between us. And then there was the eco… I could hear myself. There was something magical about it. The audience was there but not really. I was there but not really. Or realer then real (?).

It felt safe like in mum’s belly. It was my best reading ever.

And then I came home and looked at the pictures. I was stunned. I realized that I found myself inside of my own crystal ball. Shiva’s crystal balls from my Croatian book cover! It was the 7th crystal ball. The last one. The missing one. The one that belongs into the empty space above Shiva’s head.

And since I found myself in my own crystal ball, the magic took over. I got my first grant for literature.

I hope never to leave my crystal ball.

180 degrees in 1 minute

Last Saturday, I had the most bizarre and, after the book presentation in Vienna, the most fantastic book reading ever. I have been invited to read from “From Barrie to Vibrator” on the book fair in Wiener Neustadt, a small city 40km south of Vienna.

Two surprises were waiting for me there: first, Wiener Neustadt is an surprisingly pretty old city. Second, I was supposed to read after Annemarie Moser, a lady who is from Wr. Neustadt and still lives there. So basically, the audience was her audience. And here audience is from Wr.Neustadt and is between 75-85 years old. From Barbie to WHAT???

She read her stories for 45 minutes. Her stories are about elderly or sick people. Beautiful, but heavy and depressing. I was panicking. I changed the stories I was going to read for three times. I thought nothing can save this hopeless situation. I even considered disappearing. And to make things worse, there was a break between our readings. So I expected the audience to become either incurably depressed or to leave during the break.

They didn’t. Neither. Nor.

I started reading, scared like shit. And the faces of those grey-haired people immediately started lighting up. After one minute they were glowing like a bunch of little suns. After two minutes they were cracking of laughter. And they couldn’t stop laughing. I have never had such attentive, good-humored audience. They kept on laughing, listening carefully and applauding for 45 minutes. And then they asked for more! So I read one more story.

The first gentleman came to have his book signed as I was still sitting on the stage. And a whole bunch of people was already waiting at the books table for me to sign. They all wanted to meet me and talk to me. I haven’t felt so welcome and so admired since the book presentation in June.

It was just amazing how a situation can turn 180 degrees within one single minute. You can never, ever know how it might end.

Or was it all Frau Moser? I already considered asking her if we could always read together. So she can depress the people and then they can't help but adore me for lifting them up….

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"Von der Barbie zum Vibrator" is out!

"Von der Barbie zum Vibrator" was presented in Jenseits on 9 June. I had the most fantastic audience ever - a huge thank you to everyone who was there! We had lots of fun. The crowning of the evening was Roman Rafreider, Austria's most handsome TV presenter, who announced a report about my book presentation on ZIB 24 (the evening news) - there was something very sexy in hearing this guy pronounce my name.... Made me want to write many, many new books.

The link to the report (which I will not comment on) is below - it starts at 19'08.

ZIB 24

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Working....

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Partying....

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And eating!

Wearing my Book Cover

Today, I was sitting in Palmenhaus and drinking coffee with my friend Ines who is a stylist and an image consulter. And of course we came to the topic “What am I going to wear to my book presentation!!!!???” (Yes, my tussi-cells shrank in past years but will never completely disappear). So we had a long talk about what I would like to, should and should not be wearing. And then I remembered a dress with the same black-and-white pattern like my book cover. Just need to ad something pink and I am wearing my book. Ines really liked the idea, but then she added “Good that you didn’t wear your book cover in Croatia. Or maybe a pity – would have definitely boosted the sales.” I was naked on my Croatian cover.

I think we should make it into a rule that writers wear their book covers. Would make book readings much more entertaining.

P.S. This goes to Martina for her comment on my last post

Von der Barbie zum Vibrator @ Die Zeit

It has been my big honour and privilege to write an article about my own book for Die Zeit, one of the best German weekly newspapers. The topic of the article is "what happened since then" - basically how have things changed in this crazy house, pictured in "From Babrie to Vibrator", since I've written the book. It has been an excellent exercise for me to put in words what I have strongly felt in past years - we sobered up, grew up, became more mature and unfortunately less wild. But that is life, and it is good the way it is.The article came out yesterday, here the link (in German): Die Zeit

For the PDF version, go to "Press".