The heroine of this engrossing and thoroughly contemporary novel is seventeen-year-old Sascha Naimann. Sascha was born in Moscow, but now lives in Berlin with her two younger siblings and, until recently, her mother. She is precocious, independent, street-wise, and, since her stepfather murdered her mother several months ago, an orphan.
Unlike most of her companions, she doesnt dream of escaping from the tough housing project where they live. Saschas dreams are different: she longs to write a novel about her beautiful but naïve mother and she wants to end the life of Vadim, the man who brutally murdered her.
Saschas story, as touching as any in recent literature, is that of a young woman consumed by two competing impulses, one celebrative and redemptive, the other murderous. In a voice that is candid and self-confident, at times childlike and at others all too mature, Sascha relates the universal and timeless struggle between those forces that can destroy us, and those that lead us back from sorrow and pain to life itself.
Germanys Freundin Magazine called Broken Glass Park a gripping portrayal of life on the margins of society. But Saschas story does not remain on the margins; it goes straight to the heart of what it means to be young, alive, and conscious in these first decades of the new century.
Broken Glass Park
Sometimes I think I’m the only one in our neighborhood with any worthwhile dreams. I have two, and there’s no
reason to be ashamed of either one. I want to kill Vadim.
And I want to write a book about my mother. I already have a
title: The Story of an Idiotic Redheaded Woman Who Would
Still Be Alive If Only She Had Listened to Her Smart Oldest
Daughter. Or maybe that’s more of a subtitle. But I have plenty
of time to figure it out because I haven’t started writing yet.
Most of the people who live around here don’t have any
dreams at all. I’ve asked. And the dreams of the ones who do
have them are so pathetic that if I were in their shoes I’d rather
not have any.
Anna’s dream, for instance, is to marry rich. Her dream man would be a judge in his mid-thirties, and, fingers crossed, not too terribly ugly.
Anna is seventeen, same as I am, and she says she’d get married immediately if a guy ...
Alina Bronsky's Broken Glass Park is one of the most thought-provoking works of literature I've read in a long time, and with her remarkable ability to communicate emotion with precision and intent, Bronsky creates just that - literature... Throughout the entire novel, there are no wasted words in Bronsky's writing and her dialogue is both poignant and raw. I am so delighted that this book was translated into English (from the German) and with such a strong debut, I'm looking forward to what Alina Bronsky comes up with next.
(Reviewed by Elena Spagnolie).
Full Review (812 words).
The Ingeborg Bachmann Prize
Alina Bronsky's debut novel Broken Glass Park was originally published in 2008 by Kiepenheuer & Witsch under the German title Scherbenpark. It was immediately well received and nominated for one of Europe's most prestigious literary awards, the Ingeborg Bachmann Prize.
The Ingeborg Bachmann Prize is named after the beloved Austrian poet and author, Ingeborg Bachmann (1926-1973) who is known internationally for her works Der gute Gott von Manhattan, a radio play, and Malina, a novel. She is recognized as a "woman of letters" as she studied philosophy, German language & literature and psychology, and was a member of the Gruppe 47 a literary association that included Heinrich Böll, Paul Celan, ...
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