Alina Bronsky talks about her first novel,
Broken Glass Park
I've heard that you submitted your manuscript by
post and received positive responses after only a week.
What was your reaction to these responses?
I was so happy. I couldn't believe it. I felt like Cinderella when she is invited to the ball. At first, I didn't tell anyone about it because I thought I was only dreaming.
Are there similarities between you and Sascha?
Some people think so. They say I talk like Sascha sometimes. But I can't see it. Sascha has much more courage and more ambitions than I. I would like to have her strength and also some other characteristics of hers, but under better circumstances of course.
I love Sascha's personality: she's so proud and skeptical, yet innocent and fragile. So determined to assure herself a better future, so courageous. She's a real heroine, isn't she? Which is a rarity nowadays.
Thank you. I like her very much, too. And you are completely right; she is also a very ambivalent person. But I don't think she is a rarity. I've met real girls who are no less courageous than her.
She hates men, but at the same time she is mesmerized by Volker and Felix, which demonstrates her ability to adapt to their circumstances and the world around her, an adult work that is also a fragile, childlike one at the same time. You can't really consider her a bad girl, not at all! She is self-destructive and hurtful at times, eager for protection at others, and this is not a contradiction in her very broad personality.
Well, sometimes she really is a bad girlat least, she certainly likes to behave like one. Sometimes she is arrogant and she knows very well how to hurt other people's feelings. I was expecting some
German readers not to like her because of her dark sides. But most of them seem to forgive her everything. I not sure I completely understand it.
Concerning the theme of immigration/emigration, is it really so difficult for a Russian to find a human dimension in Germany?
I'm afraid it is, at least for some immigrants. Emigration is very hard and stressful sometimes, especially for older people or for a teenager who is growing up under such catastrophic conditions.
Were you aware of any particular literary influences, or did you draw inspiration from any particular sources while you were working? Do you have any ideas for your next book?
I read a lot, there are plenty of books and authors I admire but I am not aware of any explicit influence on my novel. I just finished my second novel; it's about a very special woman, a grandmother who
spends her life moving between three different cultures.
Unless otherwise stated, this interview was conducted at the time the book was first published, and is reproduced with permission of the publisher. This interview may not be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the copyright holder.
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