What do we really know about ourselves? And about others? Eva Menasse breaks down the different aspects in the life of a woman into thirteen chapters, showing her as a mother and daughter, as a friend, tenant, and patient, as a fleeting acquaintance and an unfaithful wife. Out of the mosaic emerges a bold novel that asks questions about perception and truth at the same time.
At the start of the novel Xane Molin is fourteen and experiences a dramatic summer with her best friend. At the end she is a grandmother trying to turn around what is left of her life. In between we see her through the eyes of different people: the mistrustful gaze of her landlord who has secrets of his own, the survivor of a civil war who falls in love with her, the brash childhood friend whom Xane can no longer stand after years of friendship.
The book title is taken from natural science, which recently discovered that there are not only crystals with clear symmetrical structures but also broken and apparently irregular ones. Life is no different: it is complicated, unpredictable, and it is only from a distance that we can really take stock of it.
Director Danielle Spera will host the evening.
Jewish Museum Vienna