“The Old King in His Exile” is Arno Geiger’s account of his father’s years suffering from dementia (Alzheimer’s).
August was part of a large family, and though he started his own relatively late (only marrying at age thirty-seven) he also had several children. Almost his entire life was spent in the small town in the Austrian province of Voralberg, Wolfurt, but as his disease progresses even the familiar environment and family no longer offer a sufficient hold for him, as his loss of memory robs him of almost all foundations; the title of the book comes from Geiger’s description: “There the father wanders about, perplexed and restless like an old king in his exile”. While his marriage was an ill-conceived one, its end in divorce was one of the things that seemed to set him adrift; nevertheless, a supportive family, including his children and the estranged wife, at least offered a strong safety net in trying to support him in these difficult times.
Arno Geiger (born 22 July 1968) is an Austrian novelist. Geiger grew up in the village of Wolfurt near Bregenz. He studied German studies, ancient history and comparative literature at the universities ofInnsbruck and Vienna. He has worked as a freelance writer since 1993. From 1986 to 2002, he also worked as a technician at the annualBregenzer Festspiele summer opera festival. In 1996 and in 2004, he took part in the Ingeborg-Bachmann-Preis competition at Klagenfurt.
In October 2005, he was the recipient of the first Deutscher Buchpreis literature prize (awarded by the booksellers' association of Germany) for his novel Es geht uns gut.
Geiger lives in Wolfurt and Vienna.
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