Abschied ist ein langes Wort (Farewell is a long word)


Three women, three mothers and three partners are at the centre of Volkmar Mühleis’ new story. Three fates, marked by cancer – described from the point of view of the boy, the man, the friend.

In his autobiographical story Abschied ist ein langes Wort (Farewell is a long word), Volkmar Mühleis delves into three life stories that are unexpectedly overshadowed by cancer. Memories from childhood, of his own aunt’s illness, are interwoven with experiences in his partner’s life and among his friends. Families are put to the test, the overstrain of the adults is written all over the children’s faces. This book goes beyond the understandable and feasible of diagnosis and therapy to use literature to probe the edges of experience and to let the echoes of grief, the moments of joy and the fear for each other resonate imaginatively and poetically. It is a memento mori and at the same time a commemoration of life – the attempt to inscribe oneself succinctly in the rift that henceforth pervades everyday life, the search for words.

Abschied ist ein langes Wort

Narrative, published by Passagen Verlag, Vienna

80 pages cost 12 euros

Radio Orange in Vienna broadcasted a talk about the book on 18 December 2023, presented by Herbert Gnauer in his feature Dispositiv.

Together with Peter Engelmann and Martin Born at the Frankfurt Book Fair 2023 (Photo: Andrea Knoflach)

With Herbert Gnauer from Austrian Broadcaster Radio Orange in Vienna, after our talk about the book on 18 December 2023













Kölner Stadt-Anzeiger, 19 January 2024
During the presentation of the book at Studiobühne Gummersbach, 19 January 2024 (photo: Hanna Mühleis)

Recording of the presentation at Studiobühne Gummersbach, 19 January 2024


Presentation with Martin Born at the Leipzig Book Fair, 21 March 2024 (photo: Teresa Awa)