I was born in Austria and now live in Edinburgh. I hold a BA in English and American studies from the University of Graz, an MSc in Creative Writing from the University of Edinburgh, and I am pursuing a PhD researching gender equality in contemporary Scottish writing and publishing at the University of Stirling in partnership with University of Glasgow and Scottish Book Trust. Find out more about my research here.
I am a published writer of fiction and creative non-fiction. In 2018, I was selected as part of The List Hot 100 and as one of Queer Words Project Scotland‘s five Emerging Writers. You can find a full list of my publications here. I was recently invited to participate in a documentary about craft and creativity inspired by Eileen Myles’s FOR NOW created by Lighthouse Bookshop and Harry R Oliver, which you can watch here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4a8-HcERTv8
DEBUT NOVELLA: AMPHIBIAN
My debut novella Amphibian, which was shortlisted for the 2016 Novella Award, was published on 26 August 2018 with Glasgow-based indy Speculative Books. Amphibian is about an office that is slowly being filled with water following a management directive. Read a review of Amphibian here on Book Odyssey, on CommonSpace, on For Books’ Sake, on The State of the Arts, in the Scottish Review of Books, in The Wee Review and in Scots Whay Hae. It was and is DIVA Magazine‘s Book of the Month for September 2018, and Scottish Review of Books’ Book of the Month for November 2018. It was shortlisted for the Saltire Society First Book of the Year Award 2018 (read more here on The Bookseller).
Where can I buy it? Stockists: Lighthouse Bookshop, Edinburgh; Golden Hare Books, Edinburgh; Typewronger Books, Edinburgh; Waterstones Edinburgh West End; Blackwell’s Bookshop, South Bridge, Edinburgh. If you are interested in stocking Amphibian, please get in touch with me or with Speculative Books! Plus, you can also buy it online right here on the Speculative Books website!
Some extracts from reviews:
“If Kafka had worked for an Edinburgh finance company this is the book he would have written. (…) Neuwirth makes her points succinctly, with wit and sense of whimsy which she shares with her central character. You have to laugh, or else you’d cry. With Amphibian Christina Neuwirth has presented us with a tale which is utterly contemporary yet with a intrinsic understanding of human nature.”
–Scots Whay Hae
“A delightful, intelligent and hilarious read about the nuances of corporate life.”★★★★★
–Udita Banerjee, The Wee Review
“This is a story of the abusive demands corporate strategy places on its human units and it is dark at its heart. It speaks its truth smilingly, though, with wit, invention, and more fun than anyone ever had at work along the way.”
–Kristian Kerr, Scottish Review of Books
“In a world where austerity sits beneath us like a hidden trapdoor waiting to open, while increasing numbers see the old adage of suffering through a loveless corporate position to get by become reality, the overwhelmingly normal reaction of MoneyTownCashGrowth’s staff to a completely ridiculous situation is depressingly accurate.
Written with an unputdownable sense of craft and a refreshing style, Neuwirth has penned a fine debut that will make you eager for her next venture.
A short, sweet, relatable and refreshing debut – I highly recommend it.”
–Ciarán Hodgers, The State of the Arts
“Yet Amphibian, for all its short length, packs a punch in its condemnation of the gradual erosion of workplace rights and the absurdity of faceless bureaucratic megaliths who demand more and more whilst providing ever less. Where Neuwirth’s prose really shines is in its elegantly sketched tableaus of everyday life – accidentally getting wine-drunk with friends at lunch, the rewriting of emails to your boss to take out all the “what the actual fuck”s and replace them with “perhaps” and “perchance”.” ★★★★
–Sophie Hanson, For Books’ Sake
“Wonderfully weird, witty and heart-felt — anyone who has ever so much as stepped foot in an office will fall in love with this.”
–Chiara Bullen, CommonSpace
Some very kind blurbs:
“Amphibian is a strange aquatic joy, sodden with the mischief-making of contemporary satire. Through gleeful transformation of reality into the surreal, where rising water levels and bobbing molluscs have competition from coworkers for oddest office feature, Neuwirth establishes herself as a writer with a talent for spearing the absurdity of everyday life. Eat it up in shark-size bites.”
“It often takes a fantasy to accurately describe reality, and this screwy little fable cuts sharply into contemporary life. With wit and heart, Amphibian reveals the messiness, absurdity and terror beneath the apparent banalities of the workplace as only a good story can, with characters as real as their situation is impossible.”
– Harry Josephine Giles
“Amphibian is a wryly poignant parable, surreal and tender, with a wit drier than…well, you’ll see. Sweetly realised details give teasing life to a story of daily routine, self-doubt, small rebellions, and sometimes just missing the bigger picture.”
– Rachel McCrum
Non-fiction: Nasty Women
— Literary Dundee (@literarydundee) October 24, 2017
I am proud to have an essay included in 404 Ink’s Nasty Women (2017). My essay is on grief, food and family, and grapples with the things we inherit from each other and the imperative to procreate. It’s called “Hard Dumplings for Visitors.” (In the above picture, I’m the second person from the left.)