Under Blazing Skies

woitzuck über allem war licht
Über allem war Licht
Magda Woitzuck
264pp

This tense novel is a glittering portrayal of domestic violence and the psychology of abuser and abused. 

Rosa is in love with Milo, her husband’s best friend. The strain on the lovers is only intensified by Rosa’s husband’s violent behaviour towards her. So accustomed is Rosa to suffering abuse from Hans and covering it up that she appears to be ambivalent towards her plight and, much to Milo’s frustration, even defends Hans’s actions. One night Hans returns home drunk and launches a particularly brutal attack on Rosa. In an attempt to defend herself, Rosa plunges a pair of sewing scissors into his abdomen. They reel towards the stairs, and Rosa pushes Hans into the stairwell, where he breaks his neck and is killed instantly. In a state of panic, she phones Milo. Long inured to the need for secrecy, Milo formulates a plan for disposing of Hans’s body and removing all traces of the killing. 

Magda Woitzuck focuses to great effect on the momentary shifts in her protagonists’ inner worlds as they undergo an ordeal that tests them to their limits. This is a crime novel with a twist: its delicious sense of suspense derives from the reader’s uncertainty as to whether Rosa’s guilt will ever be discovered.

Magda Woitzuck was born in Vienna in 1983 and went to school in Lower Austria. She was raised bilingually and speaks Polish. She went on to study Comparative Literature at the University of Vienna. Curiosity as well as the desire to learn foreign languages led her to travel extensively, including to Australia, Southeast Asia, South America and Africa. Woitzuck has been an author since 1997. Her highly acclaimed 2010 audio drama Doggod was awarded the Prix Europa in Berlin. Most recently Woitzuck has been granted the residence scholarship of the county of Lower Austria in Paliano near Rome.

Translation rights available from:

Verlag Wortreich
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Wortreich Verlag was founded in Vienna in 2015 and specialises in upmarket popular literature. All book covers are created in cooperation with the painter Alice Haring.

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