In this novel Mariella Mehr tells the story of the two girls Anna and Franziska – one Yenish, the other Jewish – who cultivate a fatal friendship as outsiders in a children’s home. As an adult, Anna, who is now working in a private clinic, believes she has recognised her former girlfriend. The narrative alternates between the two periods in time as well as between different perspectives.
In this excerpt, the Yenish Anna recalls when, as a young woman, she set fire to her mother’s caravan and was subsequently sent to an ‘institution’ run by nuns. There she meets Franziska and one day observes the institutional psychiatrist Lodemann raping her new Jewish friend.
Brandzauber describes the spiral of violence within a society in which people are persecuted and excluded for ‘being different’.
Source of text excerpt
Mehr, Mariella. 2017. Daskind – Brandzauber – Angeklagt. Zürich: Limmat Verlag, pp. 244–49.