She was the daughter of a doctor, while her great grandmother was Carola Seligmann, an opera singer who died in the Theresienstadt concentration camp.
Schwaiger attended grammar school at Freistadt until 1967 and then studied two semesters of Psychology, Germanic and Romance linguistics in Vienna. In 1968, she married a Spanish Officer, and moved with him to Madrid and then Mallorca before divorcing him four years later. She then attended the Pedagogic Academy in Linz, where she played part-time in cellar theatres and worked as a production assistant at ORF (Österreichischer Rundfunk - Austrian Broadcasting).
Her first novel, Wie kommt das Salz ins Meer? (1977) (How does the Salt get into the Sea?) became a sensational bestseller which sold several hundred thousand copies throughout the German language region. The heavily autobiographical first-person story tells of the monotony of everyday married life and of unsuccessful attempts to flee this world. In 1988 the novel was dramatised in a German film by Peter Beauvais, starring Nicolin Kunz and Siemen Rühaak.
Although her later works did not achieve the success of her first novel, Fallen lassen, a report of her experience in psychiatry, was met with critical acclaim.
- 1984 Oberösterreich Culture prize
|About Brigitte Schwaiger|
|By Brigitte Schwaiger|
- Wie kommt das Salz ins Meer? (1977)
- Mein spanisches Dorf (1978)
- Lange Abwesenheit (1980)
- Die Galizianerin (1982)
- Der Himmel ist süß – Eine Beichte (1984)
- Mit einem möcht' ich leben (1987) (poems)
- Liebesversuche (1989)
- Schönes Licht (1990)
- Tränen beleben den Staub (1991)
- Der rote Faden (1992)
- Jaro heißt Frühling (1994)
- Ein langer Urlaub (1997)
- Fallen lassen (2006) (describes her experience with psychiatry)
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