gugic astronauten
January 2015 / 199pp

This book is outside of the five-year window for guaranteed assistance with English language translation. We suggest getting in touch with the relevant funding body for an informal conversation about the possibility of support. Please refer to to our  recommendations page for books that are currently covered by our funding guarantee.


Sandra Gugi´c’s debut skilfully interweaves the stories of an intriguing group of characters during a summer in the city. 

The novel’s six characters are all grappling with problems of cultural identity, addiction, mental health and loneliness, as well as being misunderstood by and alienated from other generations of their families. The bookish Darko comes from an immigrant background and has been brought up by his grandparents. Darko’s father is a taxi driver, unpublished writer and struggling alcoholic who has been an inadequate father to his son. Zeno shares Darko’s immigrant background and is terrified of being sent back to his home country. Mara is Darko’s girlfriend, a compulsive fantasist who is having an affair with his father. Alex is a young junkie from an affluent, middle-class family who is befriended by a policeman who suffers from anxiety attacks. Each character feels isolated from the rest of the world, and yet Gugi´c demonstrates how their predicaments are more closely connected than they at first appear. 

Astronauts is a compelling investigation of these individuals’ thoughts, memories and fantasies set against a minutely observed urban backdrop whose architecture, roads and surveillance cameras frame the characters’ emotional development.


An English-language review of Astronauts from Literaturhaus Wien is available here:

press quotes

‘An eclectic debut!’– STERN

about the author

Sandra Gugić was born in Austria in 1976 and divides her time between Berlin and Vienna. She studied creative writing at the University of Applied Arts in Vienna and the German Institute for Literature in Leipzig. She received a fellowship from the Austrian Federal Ministry for Education in 2010/11; in 2012 she won an Open Mike Prize and the Prize of the Graz Academy, and in 2013 she was awarded a writing fellowship by the city of Vienna. She has previously published in magazines and anthologies.

rights information

Translation rights available from:

Verlag C.H.Beck
Contact: Elisabeth Braune
Tel: +49 89 38189 522

Verlag C.H.Beck is one of Germany’s best known publishing houses dealing both with books and magazines, employing a staff of over 400 and with approximately 6,000 titles in print.

translation assistance

Applications for adult fiction or children’s books should be made to the Austrian Federal Ministry for Arts, Culture, the Civil Service and Sport in good time before the book goes to print.

share this recommendation

Share this on twitter, facebook or via mail.

All recommendations from Autumn 2015