Austrian and American Ethnic Diversity in Lilian Faschinger’s Wiener Passion
Joseph W. Moser (Washington & Jefferson College, Pennsylvania)
The rich ethnic diversity of Austria and the United States is a central theme in Lilian Faschinger’s novel Wiener Passion (1999). Descending from African-American and Czech ancestors, the Austrian-American protagonist Magnolia Brown travels to Vienna and uncovers her family history, pointing to the fact that immigration has been an important aspect of both cultures.
In addition to examining the theme of diversity in this novel, this paper will also situate Faschinger’s work within the literary and political context of Austria in the late 1990s, thus drawing comparisons to similar texts such as Peter Henisch’s Schwarzer Peter (2000), and examining the role of literature in contrast to the surge of xenophobia in the political discourse of the time.