Renate Welsh

Renate Welsh

 

Austria

 

Renate Welsh began writing and inventing stories early in her life, in part to deal with the early death of her mother and the experience of living through the Second World War. She worked as a translator and wrote her first book, Der Enkel des Löwenjägers (The lion hunter’s grandson, 1969) during an extended hospital stay in 1968. Shortly thereafter she became a full-time writer and has since published over fifty books, including Johanna (1979), the story of an illegitimate child growing up in the early 1930s in Austria, a period of political instability, unemployment and poverty. Joanna won the Austrian Children’s and Juvenile Book Award as well as the Deutscher Jugendliteraturpreis. Other well-known works include Besuch aus der Vergangenheit (Visit from the past, 1999), Dieda oder das fremde Kind (That girl or the strange child, 2002) Dr. Chickensoup (2011) and Sarah spinnt Geschichten (Sarah tells stories, 2014). Renate Welsh has written about modern childhood and youth. Family crisis and social injustice, illnesses, social exclusion, violence, isolation and identity conflicts are depicted with remarkable honesty. Her books are highly regarded in the German-speaking world and have been translated into several European languages, winning many awards.