Synopses & Reviews
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.
"In her riveting debut, Bronsky gives us Sascha Naimann, a 17-year-old Russian immigrant living in Germany who narrates a brutal story with a sharp, canny voice. Sascha is determined to kill her stepfather, Vadim, who murdered her mother, but with Vadim in prison and social workers hovering, Vadim's cousin, Maria, arrives to care for Sascha and her younger stepsiblings. A puff piece in the local paper about Vadim's supposed reformation sends a livid Sascha to the newspaper office, where she meets Volker Trebur, an editor who, having briefly known Sascha's mother, offers to make things right. Sascha quickly takes him up on the offer, moving in to Volker's guestroom and beginning an intense involvement with Volker's family particularly his teenage son. When that flames out, Sascha ends up in 'broken glass park,' the dangerous area in her neighborhood where drugs, booze, and rough sex prevail. Sascha's hunger for life shines through her relentless fight to leave behind a painful childhood a struggle complicated by an unexpected twist in the final act making for a stark, moving tale of resiliency and survival." Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"Whether it's autobiographical or not, Bronsky writes with a gritty authenticity and unputdownable propulsion, capturing the egotism and need of a girl just beginning to understand her own power." Vogue
"Surprising, poetic, extremely well-crafted... recalls the narrative art of Zadie Smith." Stadtrevue
"The most exciting new arrival of the season." Der Spiegel
"Youthful, fast-paced, at times sad, never sugarcoated. Broken Glass Park tells the story of a marvelous reawakening." Modern Zeiten
"Playful, audacious and brimming with verve....A gripping read." Book Reporter (Germany)
"The literature industry has a new prodigy! Bronsky is an immense talent." Focus (Germany)
"Sascha Naimann truly is a heroine for our time....Her story, told with wit and flair, will grab you as it grabbed me." Alicia Erian, author of New York Time Notable Book Towelhead
Russian-born Alina Bronksy has been the subject of constant praise and debate since her debut novel, Broken Glass Park, was published in Germany in 2008. She has been hailed as a literary prodigy and her novel as "an explosive debut" (Emma Magazine). Now, Broken Glass Park makes it's first appearance in English in Tim Mohr's masterful translation.
The heroine of this throughly contemporary novel is 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 doesn't dream of escaping from the tough housing project where they live. Sascha's dreams are different: she longs to write a novel about her beautiful but naive mother and she wants to end the life of Vadim, the man who brutally murdered her.
Sascha's 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 struggle between those forces that can destroy us, and those that lead us out of sorrow and pain back to life.
Germany's Freundin Magazine called Broken Glass Park "a gripping portrayal of life on the margins of society." But Sascha's 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.
Seventeen-year-old Sacha Naimann is precocious, independent, skeptical, and, since her stepfather murdered her mother, an orphan. Her dream is to write a novel about her mother — and end the life of the man who murdered her.
About the Author
Alina Bronsky was born in Yekaterinburg, an industrial town at the foot of the Ural Mountains in central Russia. She moved to Germany when she was thirteen. Her debut novel, Broken Glass Park, was nominated for one of Europe's most important literary awards, the Ingeborg Bachmann Prize, and was published by Europa Editions in 2010.