Since I started to write creatively I have always preferred poetry. This is true for both languages, German and Italian. But nevertheless I have always written in prose as well, first in diaries and short pieces, but then very soon in longer texts; I wrote a novel (unpublished) in German; I started to write another again in German, and published some shorter prose texts (short stories) in German and Italian.

For the last two years I have been concentrating on a number of short texts which have an autobiographical origin: they are about the escape of my family from East to West Germany in June 1961, that is to say three months before the building of the Berlin Wall. This experience was traumatic for the family from different points of view, and thus at a very early age I became aware of the influence of historical events on the personal lives of ordinary human beings.

Since I grew up in West Germany, but for some strange combination of factors ended up spending my summer holidays with my grandparents in East Germany, my awareness of the difference between these two countries developed over the years. On a day to day basis, for example, I noticed that while in East Germany everybody seemed to want to know about the West, the reverse was not true in the West itself. On the contrary, my friends at school, their families and the teachers at school, none of them seemed to be the least interested in this part of Germany. For me this meant that I felt more and more like a traveller between two different countries in which they happened to speak the same language, but not about the same things or at least not in quite the same way. Being a child, I was not able to give any rational explanation of what I was experiencing; things just happened without fitting together, while the adults around me, instead of providing explanation, were too busy with their own lives.

The main idea for my literary text derives from this experience: I want to show this sense of foreignness as a main factor in the life of a girl. The perspective of the whole text is meant to be the one of a child who has no explanations but observes the others and tells their stories. In fact the time span narrated will be limited to the period just before the family’s escape and the period just after; any temptation to look back in time from the present and judge will be avoided.