Brigitte Schwaiger

from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Brigitte Schwaiger (born April 6, 1949 in Freistadt , Upper Austria , † July 26, 2010 in Vienna ) was an Austrian writer .


Honorary grave of Brigitte Schwaiger in the Vienna Central Cemetery

Brigitte Schwaiger was born as the daughter of a doctor and a former nurse in Freistadt (Upper Austria). Her great-grandmother, the opera singer Carola Seligmann (stage name Angeli ), died in the Theresienstadt concentration camp .

Schwaiger first attended grammar school in Freistadt and passed her Matura here in 1967, whereupon she studied psychology , German and Romance studies in Vienna for two semesters . In 1968 she married a Spanish veterinarian and officer, with whom she lived in  Madrid and Mallorca  , where she taught German and English and worked in painting and sculpture. After the divorce four years later, Schwaiger returned to Austria and attended the Pedagogical Academy in Linz between 1972 and 1973 ; on the side she appeared as an actress in basement theaters. She later worked as an assistant director at ORF and as a secretary at a Viennese theater publisher before starting to earn a living as a freelance writer in the mid-1970s. In the late 1970s and early 1980s she was one of Austria's most prominent authors.

Schwaiger married a second time and had a son in 1987. After persistent psychological problems from the 1990s and several stays in psychiatric facilities, Brigitte Schwaiger was found dead in a branch of the Danube in Vienna in July 2010. A suicide is assumed; she had often spoken of the "shorter path" she wanted to choose.

Brigitte Schwaiger was buried in an honorary grave in the Vienna Central Cemetery (group 40, number 72).

Literary work

In her works, which include prose works, stage plays, radio plays and poems, Brigitte Schwaiger mostly deals with tried and tested topics. Injuries, depression, compulsions and mental crises, resulting from attempts to adapt to “middle-class” norms and values ​​as well as from the desire for emotional self-realization, are common motifs of her literary work. Above all, the dominant figures of the father and the Spanish husband get literary in many of their works ("Lange Abwesenheit", Vienna 1980; "Der Himmel ist Süß", Hamburg 1984; "I searched for life and only found you", Munich 2000) encodes great attention. In Brigitte Schwaiger's works, clear autobiographical traits can be recognized. The realistic, credible narrative style and presentation creates the impression of authentic experience reports, which is reinforced not least because of the obvious closeness between the author and the first-person narrator.

In 1977 she landed a sensational bestseller with her first work How does the salt come into the sea , which has sold around 500,000 times in the German-speaking area alone and has been translated into several languages. The novel is strongly autobiographical and tells in first-person form about the provincial bourgeoisie of her parents' home as well as the monotony of everyday marriage and the futile attempts to break out of this world. In 1988 it was filmed for television in Germany under the direction of Peter Beauvais with Nicolin Kunz and Siemen Rühaak in the leading roles based on a script by Schwaiger.

With her later books, the Upper Austrian could no longer build on the success of her debut novel. Only Lassen Fallen (2006), Schwaiger's report on her experiences in psychiatry, received positive reviews again.


  • State grant from the Federal Ministry for Education and Art for Literature (1974)
  • Authors' grant from the Dramatic Center, Vienna (1975)
  • Cultural funding award from the state of Upper Austria (1976)
  • Culture Prize of the Province of Upper Austria (1984)
  • In 2013, the radio version of How does salt come into the sea was voted radio play of the year 2012 on Ö1 .


Primary literature


  • Marmots . Austrian radio. 1975.
  • Paper clips . Austrian radio. 1978.
  • The Böck ' , the children and the fish'. Austrian Broadcasting / South German Broadcasting. 1978.
  • Nest warmth . Austrian broadcasting / North German broadcasting / South German broadcasting. 1978.
  • Styrian costume . Süddeutscher Rundfunk / Norddeutscher Rundfunk. 1978.
  • Like your own child . Süddeutscher Rundfunk. 1982.


  • Nest warmth . World premiere: Theaterkeller Linz, March 2, 1976.
  • Paper clips . Small chamber play. Styrian costume . 3 one-act. Fischer, Frankfurt am Main 1977. (Theater manuscript)
  • Attempts at love . World premiere: Torturmtheater Sommerhausen, November 23, 1979.
  • Painting lesson . World premiere: Vienna, 1986.
  • Leader, command! . World premiere: Theater Drachengasse, Vienna, 1987.


  • Attempts at love . Director: Zoltan Pataky. ZDF. 1980.
  • Small chamber play . Dialect version by Kurt Gloor. Director: Bruno Kaspar. Swiss television DRS. 1981.
  • How does the salt get into the sea . Director: Peter Beauvais. ARD. 1988.


Web links

Individual evidence

  1. Portrait of Brigitte Schwaiger. Munzinger, accessed September 1, 2017 .
  2. Brigitte Schwaiger's biography. KLG, accessed September 1, 2017 .
  3. Brigitte Schwaiger's biography. (No longer available online.) Stifterhaus, archived from the original on September 4, 2017 ; accessed on September 1, 2017 . Info: The archive link was inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot /
  4. Brigitte Schwaiger's biography. KLG, accessed September 1, 2017 .
  5. Brigitte Schwaiger is dead. In: Der Standard. July 26, 2010.
  6. ^ Works - Brigitte Schwaiger. KLG, accessed September 1, 2017 .
  7. Author Brigitte Schwaiger has passed away. ( Memento of August 27, 2010 in the Internet Archive ) In: Kurier .
  8. Awards - Brigitte Schwaiger. KLG, accessed September 1, 2017 .
  9. Schwaiger's "How does salt come into the sea" is "Radio Play of the Year"
  10. In conversation, accessed on March 8, 2013
  11. ^ University of Arkansas Libraries, 365 N. McIlroy Ave., Fayetteville, AR 72701-4002