Born in Vienna in 1954, Robert Menasse studied German, philosophy and politics in Vienna, Salzburg and Messina. He lectured in Austrian literature and literary theory at the University of São Paulo during the 1980s. Ever since, he has worked as an author, journalist and translator from Portuguese. In addition to being a novelist, he is a prolific essayist, a poet and a playwright.
Menasse’s novel Schubumkehr (1995, translated as Reverse Thrust), the third part of a trilogy, marked his literary breakthough. It was followed by Die Vertreibung aus der Hölle (2001), Don Juan de la Mancha, and, most recently by Die Hauptstadt (2017), translated by Jamie Bulloch as The Capital. His numerous essays on political and cultural themes include “Das Land ohne Eigenschaften: Essay zur österreichischen Identität” (1992, English title “The Land Without Qualities: an Essay on the Austrian Identity”) and “Der europäische Landbote” (translated by Craig Decker as “Enraged Citizens, European Peace and Democratic Deficits: Or Why the Democracy Given to Us Must Become One We Fight For”).
Robert Menasse has received many awards, including the French Ordre des Arts et des Lettres, the European Book Prize and the German Book Prize. He lives mainly in Vienna.