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
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
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