Phigie has not yet turned 16; her name is actually Iphigenia. She lives with her mother, whose high educational standards sometimes get on her nerves. A real culture-lover, or worse still, a culture-mother! One thing is for sure: Phigie does not want to become a member of the educated classes. When she speaks, she uses jargon that is meant to be understood by no-one but people of her own age. It’s so stupid when mothers try to talk in the same way; how implausible they are when they attempt to appear youthful and liberal! Phigie, on the other hand, dresses in a hijab and befriends a young Muslim woman.
If she didn’t take on responsibility, things would be looking pretty grim. It’s the same with her father, who Phigie visits every two weeks. He used to be a management consultant and now he hardly ever leaves his apartment. The worst thing is, to put it mildly, he has rather disgusting passions.
All in all, Phigie has quite a few problems with her parents, and the way she deals with them has nothing at all to do with the cliché of the ignorant offspring.
»It is admirable how Gabriele Kögl masters narrative prose: without condescension, without ethnological colouring, merciless, exact.«
NZZ am Sonntag (referring to »Mutterseele«)
Gabriele Kögl, born in Graz in 1960, did a teacher's training degree and studied at a film academy, wrote screenplays for short feature films and documentary films (British Academy Short Film Award, Film Prize and Screenplay Prize at the International Film Festival in Tokyo). For her debut novel »Das Mensch« she received the Clemens Brentano Prize, awarded by the town of Heidelberg.
Other awards: Alfred Gesswein Literature Prize, Würth Prize, Floriana Prize (Literature Biennale).
Published by Wallstein
Vorstadthimmel (Suburban Skies), novel (2011)
Mutterseele (Mother's Soul), novel (2005)
Das Mensch, novel (1994)