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.
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 .
- How does the salt get into the sea. [Novel]. Zsolnay , Vienna / Hamburg 1977, ISBN 3-552-02907-9 ; Rowohlt , Reinbek 1979, ISBN 3-499-14324-0 ; Czernin , Vienna 2007, ISBN 978-3-7076-0226-5 ; as audio book - read by Julia von Sell: Langen Müller, Munich 2000, ISBN 3-7844-5028-8 ( MC ); 2004, ISBN 978-3-7844-4060-6 . (3 CD )
- Long absence [novel]. Paul Zsolnay Verlag Vienna / Hamburg 1980, ISBN 3-552-03213-4
- My spanish village . Zsolnay, Vienna / Hamburg 1978, ISBN 3-552-03031-X ; Rowohlt, Reinbek 1982, ISBN 3-499-14950-8 .
- Painting lesson. (with Arnulf Rainer ). Zsolnay, Vienna / Hamburg 1980, ISBN 3-552-03235-5 ; Rowohlt, Reinbek 1984, ISBN 3-499-15361-0 .
- The Galician. [Processing of Eva Deutsch's war memories]. Zsolnay, Vienna / Hamburg 1982, ISBN 3-552-03433-1 ; Rowohlt, Reinbek 1984, ISBN 3-499-15461-7 ; In: The woman in literature. Ullstein Verlag, Frankfurt am Main 1993, ISBN 3-548-30322-6 .
- The sky is sweet . A confession. Knaus , Hamburg 1984; Rowohlt, Reinbek 1986, ISBN 3-499-15749-7 ; Langen Müller, Munich 1999, ISBN 3-548-30322-6 .
- I would like to live with one. [Poems]. Heyne Verlag , Munich 1987, ISBN 3-453-00126-5 .
- Attempts at love . Small dramas from everyday life in Austria. Langen Müller , Munich 1989, ISBN 3-7844-2239-X ; Rowohlt, Reinbek 1991, ISBN 3-499-12783-0 ; Ullstein, Frankfurt am Main / Berlin 1994, ISBN 3-548-30318-8 .
- Nice light. [Novel]. Langen Müller, Munich 1990, ISBN 3-7844-2295-0 ; Rowohlt, Reinbek 1992, ISBN 3-499-12983-3 ; Ullstein, Berlin 1997, ISBN 3-548-24016-X .
- Tears enliven the dust. [Novel]. Langen Müller, Munich 1991, ISBN 3-7844-2321-3 ; Rowohlt, Reinbek 1993, ISBN 3-499-13194-3 .
- The common thread . Langen Müller, Munich 1992; Rowohlt, Reinbek 1995, ISBN 3-499-13350-4 .
- The man for life. [Stories]. Langen Müller, Munich 1993; Rowohlt, Reinbek 1996, ISBN 3-499-14324-0 .
- Jaro means spring . Stories of being a stranger. Langen Müller, Munich 1994; Rowohlt, Reinbek 1997, ISBN 3-499-13614-7 .
- A long vacation . Novel. Langen Müller, Munich 1996, ISBN 3-7844-2579-8 ; BLT , Bergisch Gladbach 1999, ISBN 3-404-92013-9 .
- I searched for life and found only you. [Autobiography 1968-1971]. Langen Müller, Munich 2000. ISBN 3-7844-2768-5 .
- Let it fall . Czernin, Vienna 2006, ISBN 978-3-7076-0082-7 . (A description of my own experiences in psychiatry)
- When god is dead . Czernin, Vienna 2012, ISBN 978-3-7076-0424-5 . (Memoirs)
- 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.
- Petra M. Bagley: The Death of a Father: The Start of a Story. Bereavement in Elisabeth Plessen, Brigitte Schwaiger and Jutta Schutting. (PDF, 121 kB), New German Studies, 16 (1990), pp. 21-38.
- Rebecca Anne Kalda: My Spanish Village: Translations from Brigitte Schwaiger's Mein spanisches Dorf , University of Arkansas, Fayetteville, AR 1991 OCLC 27477981 (Thesis MFA Universität Arkansas, Department Translation, August 1991, 82 pages, Advisor: John DuVal (* 1940)) .
- Literature by and about Brigitte Schwaiger in the catalog of the German National Library
- Brigitte Schwaiger in the Internet Movie Database (English)
- Brigitte Schwaiger in the literature archive of the Austrian National Library
- Brigitte Schwaiger: Traveling with the forty-nine. In: The Standard . August 15, 2008.
- Brigitte Schwaiger: Living more beautifully. In: The press .
-  Birgit Lahann : Hopeless sadness. In: Süddeutsche Zeitung . November 1, 2008. (portrait)
- Entry on Brigitte Schwaiger by Daniela Strigl for the Upper Austrian literary history of the StifterHaus
- Brigitte Schwaiger in the Literaturhaus Wien
- Portrait of Brigitte Schwaiger. Munzinger, accessed September 1, 2017 .
- Brigitte Schwaiger's biography. KLG, accessed September 1, 2017 .
- 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.
- Brigitte Schwaiger's biography. KLG, accessed September 1, 2017 .
- Brigitte Schwaiger is dead. In: Der Standard. July 26, 2010.
- Works - Brigitte Schwaiger. KLG, accessed September 1, 2017 .
- Author Brigitte Schwaiger has passed away. ( Memento of August 27, 2010 in the Internet Archive ) In: Kurier .
- Awards - Brigitte Schwaiger. KLG, accessed September 1, 2017 .
- Schwaiger's "How does salt come into the sea" is "Radio Play of the Year" wienerzeitung.at
- In conversation oe1.orf.at, accessed on March 8, 2013
- University of Arkansas Libraries, 365 N. McIlroy Ave., Fayetteville, AR 72701-4002
|BRIEF DESCRIPTION||Austrian writer|
|DATE OF BIRTH||April 6, 1949|
|PLACE OF BIRTH||Free City|
|DATE OF DEATH||July 26, 2010|
|Place of death||Vienna|