2020 was not a bad year for Monika Helfer. <a href="https://www.de24.news/"><img class="alignnone size-medium" src="https://www.de24.news/a1/de24.png" alt="© www.de24.news" width="400" height="20" /></a><p> The film adaptation of her novel "Oskar und Lilli" by Arash T. Riahi came - if only briefly - into the cinema, her novel "Die Bagage" was nominated for the Austrian Book Prize, received the audience award at the Bavarian Book Prize and made it behind the books of the literary career changers Thomas Stipsits and Hubert von Goisern ranked fourth on the annual bestseller list in Austria. Now the sequel appears. </p><div> <p>"More than 100,000 copies of 'Die Bagage' were sold - by far my best-selling book. I would never have thought that. Incredible. I had to cancel over 40 readings because of Corona. But people read the book anyway. That makes me happy ", says the Vorarlberg author in an interview with the APA. <a href="https://www.de24.news/"><img class="alignnone size-medium" src="https://www.de24.news/a1/de24.png" alt="© www.de24.news" width="400" height="20" /></a><p> The only way to explain the great success is: "I have heard from many people that they felt reminded of their own past, that they also dealt with their own childhood and their families. I think that was that Secret of Success. "</p>
She kept this recipe for success in her new novel “Vati”. While she devoted herself to her maternal grandmother and her children in the “Bagage”, the focus is now on her father and her own growing up. Again it is a touching, at times even dramatic, story told with a lot of passion. Why did it take so long for the now 73-year-old to discover her own family as literary material? “Actually out of respect for the family, because many of my uncles and aunts were still alive. It’s a tricky story, and I just didn’t want to offend anyone. That’s why I kept taking notes for years and thought to myself: If she died then I’m starting. ”
Monika Helfer’s mother died in her childhood, the death of her father is the spectacular end point of “Vati”. While her two sisters are still alive today, her brother, who grew up with an aunt other than the girls after his mother’s death, killed himself at 30, she says. “We were very similar in temperament. He was also an artist, he wrote and painted, and we got along really well.” She will dedicate the next book to him, the end of her family trilogy. “It’s my brother’s story. His name was Richard, that’s why dad always said ‘Lionheart’ to him. And that’s what I want to call the book. But it won’t be a sad book. I even think it’ll be the funniest, because he had such a strange sense of humor. ”
Helfer swears that the end of “Vati” – the book lover dies at what is perhaps the happiest moment of his life, when the books he as designated library manager were given to choose himself – is as true as almost everything about her book. “My sister, who is a very sober person, keeps saying: ‘You with your inventions!’, But then I answer: ‘I may remember better than you!’ But she saw a lot differently and felt a lot differently. I believe that truths are never the same. ” A little bit of fiction is sometimes necessary. “Sometimes I notice as I write: I need a dramaturgy.
The n I have to think about what I’m doing so that it doesn’t go so far.”
She wanted to write about her father because she had the feeling that she didn’t really know him well. “As a child I always wanted to be close to him, but he always had such a wall in front of him. We already liked him, but we knew he needed his rest. He was a quiet man in general, but never rude or rude. ” But she certainly got one thing from her father: her love for books. “We were addicted to reading, my sisters and I, and still are. One thing, however, wasn’t an issue for us: reading aloud. Because everyone could read themselves – even before we even went to school.”
The fact that she learned to be alone in the process helped her a lot during the lockdown, she said during the APA visit to her house in Hohenems. Her husband Michael Köhlmeier and she are “people who won’t leave. Well, we couldn’t go to Vienna, I missed that a bit. But it was ideal for work.”
Can Monika Helfer also imagine a decidedly autobiographical story with herself at the center? “No. I think a biography requires a lot of sincerity towards the reader, and I don’t have that. I don’t want that.
The n I would have to leave out the fiction, and I don’t want that. That would be too close to me.” She doesn’t want to write about the fact that before the publication of her first book at the age of 30 she already had a completely different woman’s biography behind her. Instead, she prefers to talk while dusk also finds its way into the living room. “I got married very early because it was very difficult at home. My father didn’t want me to study either, but to go to business school, which I obediently did. I also had two children very early and then I’m in moved to the Bregenzerwald, into the house of my parents-in-law. I felt very uncomfortable there and always thought to myself: Why did I do this? It was due to my inexperience and my stupidity. I was very unhappy at the time and finally got it but managed to break up. I’ll write about it once – but fictionally. ”
The hostess gently argues that the topic is not to be trifled with. “I feel sorry for the young people. I think it’s screwed up, the whole thing.” Of course, the virus creates a state of emergency, but “one would simply wish that things would somehow work differently in a democracy. It’s actually a tragedy.”
(Interview conducted by Wolfgang Huber-Lang / APA)
The book will be published on Monday.)
Those: APA </span> </div></a>