By Dörte Hansen
Zwei Frauen, ein altes Haus und eine artwork von Familie
Das „Polackenkind“ ist die fünfjährige Vera auf dem Hof im Alten Land, wohin sie 1945 aus Ostpreußen mit ihrer Mutter geflohen ist. Ihr Leben lang fühlt sie sich fremd in dem großen, kalten Bauernhaus und kann trotzdem nicht davon lassen. Bis sechzig Jahre später plötzlich ihre Nichte Anne vor der Tür steht. Sie ist mit ihrem kleinen Sohn aus Hamburg-Ottensen geflüchtet, wo ehrgeizige Vollwert-Eltern ihre Kinder wie Preispokale durch die Straßen tragen – und wo Annes Mann eine Andere liebt. Vera und Anne sind einander fremd und haben doch viel mehr gemeinsam, als sie ahnen.
Mit scharfem Blick und trockenem Witz erzählt Dörte Hansen von zwei Einzelgängerinnen, die überraschend finden, used to be sie nie gesucht haben: eine Familie.
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Extra resources for Altes Land: Roman
She left her father in the living room and walked through the kitchen to the formal dining room. Through the French doors, she saw an expanse of snow-covered ground, with acres of dormant apple trees in the distance. Closer, beneath the icicle-draped branches of a fifty-year-old magnolia tree, was a small rectangular garden defined by antique wrought-iron fencing. Its ornate gate was twined with brown vines; come summer, that gate would be a profusion of green leaves and white flowers. Now it glittered with frost.
She and Nina had heard this fairy tale for years. Later, when the rehearsal was over and everyone had gone their separate ways, Meredith kept working. She made a sign that read ONE NIGHT ONLY: A GRAND PLAY FOR THE HOLIDAY and listed their three names. She touched up the painted backdrop (it was impossible to fix entirely; Nina always colored outside of the lines), and then positioned it in the living room. When the set was ready, she added sequins to the tulle ballet-skirt-turned-princess-gown that she would wear at the end.
Mere,舡 he said quietly, putting his hands on her shoulders. She knew what he wanted: for her to lean back into him, to let herself be held. There was a part of her that wanted it, too, longed for that comfort, in fact, but the larger part of her舒the part that was hanging on to hope one breath at a time舒didn舗t dare soften. In his arms, she might fall apart, and what good would that do? 舠Let me hold you,舡 he said into her ear. She shook her head. How was it he didn舗t understand? She worried about her father in a way that consumed her.
Altes Land: Roman by Dörte Hansen