23. ilb 06. – 16.09.2023

Franz Orghandl

Franz Orghandl was born in Vienna in 1980 and works as an author and translator.

»In den Wald» (2019; tr: Into The Forest) is a book for children from the age of 9 and up. It tells the story of little Nina who accesses a giant, pristine forest through her parentsʼ built-in closet. Ninaʼs parents do not believe the forest exists, just as Ninaʼs friend Konstantin Mayer, who is living there, wonʼt believe that they do, despite Nina returning to their world again and again. One day, an enormous water stain puts Nina’s portal at risk because her parents plan to tear down the closet in order to find the cause of the damage. Nina persuades them to find another way. She needs the father of her homesick Albanian classmates Luan and Leao to save the closet for he isn’t only a plumber but also very good at keeping a secret. Once Nina manages to take Luan and Leano with her into the forest, they find a piece of home. In Orghandlʼs book, urban everyday life and a place of fantastic freedom meet. Paintings and drawings by Matze Döbele illustrate both worlds.

In »Der Katze ist es ganz egal« (2020; tr: The Cat Couldnʼt Care Less), also for children from the age of 9 and up, Orghandl deals with the coming out of a transgender child. Little Leo announces to be a girl called Jennifer. People around Jennifer react in various ways, and it’s only the cat that couldn’t care less. Eventually Jennifer puts her foot down. »I’m no different than I used to be, except that I discovered a mix-up«, she says. Theresa Strozykʼs illustrations expressively underline the emotions described and support the humorous undertone in which Orghandl addresses a heavy topic. »Franz Orghandl tells – in a child-friendly way – not a problematic story, but a funny story. The quiet, ironic tone and the warm atmosphere are very reminiscent of books by the great Viennese childrenʼs book author Christine Nöstlinger« (Deutschlandfunk Kultur).