Broken Glass Park made a remarkable debut when it was published in Germany in 2008. Its author, the twenty-nine-year old Russian-born Alina Bronksy has since been hailed as a wunderkind, an immense talent who has been the subject of constant praise and debate.
The heroine of this enigmatic, razor-sharp, and thoroughly contemporary novel is seventeen- year-old Sacha Naimann, born in Moscow. Sacha lives in Berlin now with her two younger siblings and, until recently, her mother. She is precocious, independent, skeptical and, since her stepfather murdered her mother several months ago, an orphan. Unlike most of her companions, she doesn't dream of getting out the tough housing project where they live. Her dreams are different: she wants to write a novel about her mother; and she wants to end the life of Vadim, the man who murdered her.
What strikes the reader most in this exceptional novel is Sacha's voice: candid, self-confident, mature and childlike at the same time: a voice so like the voices of many of her generation with its characteristic mix of worldliness and innocence, skepticism and enthusiasm. This is Sacha's story and it is as touching as any in recent literature.
Germany's Freundin Magazine called Broken Glass Park "a ruthless, entertaining portrayal of life on the margins of society." But Sacha's story does not remain on the margins; it goes straight to the heart of what it means to be seventeen in these the first years of the new century.
When Russian immigrant Alina Bronsky emailed her debut novel to an editor she had a book contract within weeks. Her scintillating debut, an acclaimed hit in Germany, catches its reader instantly with the voice of its protagonist, 17-year-old Sascha Naimann, a Russian immigrant in Berlin who recently witnessed the murder of her mother by her step-father. What makes Sascha's voice so vivid is its quicksilver shifts in register, from rage to wry humor, from the no-nonsense of the hardened survivor to the confusion of a child. The novel follows Sascha in her interactions with social workers, her schemed dreams of murderous revenge, her dysfunctional involvement with a journalist and his family, and finally to a seedy life in the notorious Broken Glass Park housing projects. Though the material is bitterly dark, Sascha's character is so rich, so keen in her observations of the world and her self, so teeming with humor and life, that readers will follow her happily down the darkest alleys.
- Fiction + Literature Genres, Fiction + Literature Themes
- Types of Characters, Peoples + Cultures, Literary Genres + Types of Novels, Family + Friendship
- March 30, 2010
- March 30, 2010
- Alina Bronsky