Birgit Birnbacher

  • I at my side
  • Bachmann Prize 2019
  • Literature

Arthur, 22, quiet and intelligent, has spent 26 months in prison. Finally released, he realizes that he won’t get another chance so easily. Without the proper papers and testimonials, they won’t let him back into real life. Together with his therapist Börd and his glamorous surrogate mother Grazetta, he therefore forges a clever plan: a little lie that could bring great freedom…
Birgit Birnbacher humorously tells of how someone like Arthur can end up in prison in the first place and pursues the big question of what constitutes a “useful” life.

Birnbacher, born 1985, is a sociologist and author. Her debut novel Wir ohne Wal (i.e., We Without Whales) was published in 2016, and she was awarded the Jürgen Ponto Foundation’s literature prize and the Theodor-Körner-Förderpreis at   a. In 2019 she received the Ingeborg Bachmann Prize. She lives in Salzburg.