Number of pages: 376
Publication date: 18 August 2017
‘A huge, touching book, one that made me long for a happy end like never before.’ – Olga Grjasnowa
Ukraine in the 1990s. A gigantic celebration of freedom. Some are dancing and eating their fill on the slag heap of the Soviet Union, others are still trying to get to the top of the pile. Like Samira. At the age of seven, she sets out in search of freedom and prosperity. While expensive cars line the streets, Samira and a few other kids live in a house with no electricity, hot water or inside toilet. She’s fine, though. She has her own sofa to sleep on and an almost grown-up friend who teaches her everything. Plus she’s got a job she’s good at: begging. No one can resist such a pretty child, not even Rocky. He calls her Kukolka, dolly. When Kukolka massages him for long enough he even gives her chocolate. For a while, everything seems perfect. But come what may, Samira holds onto her dream and her unquenchable thirst for life.
“I’d realized that I was the only one who could survive this. I wasn’t some fallen little doll. I’d always been down here at rock bottom.”
Lana Lux has written a ruthlessly realistic novel about exploitation, violence and bullying, about a life on the margins of society, the life led by a heroine who couldn’t shine brighter.
Lana Lux, born in Dnepropetrovsk/Ukraine in 1986, came to Germany with her parents at the age of ten as a refugee. She began a degree in nutritional science in Mönchengladbach before training as an actor at the Michael Tschechow Studio in Berlin. She now lives, writes and acts in the city.