Penelopes zwei Leben

Cover Penelopes zwei Leben
Cover Penelopes zwei Leben
© Judith Vanistendael / Reprodukt

Penelopes zwei LebenbyJudith Vanistendael

Translation: Andrea Kluitmann


Extract (German)

The story begins with a quotation from Homer and a confession that the protagonist has not seen her daughter for four years. In a parallel narrative, the upper part of the picture shows the safe life in Brussels and the lower part Penelope's reality in war-torn Aleppo in 2015. While the 14-year-old daughter struggles with the blood of her first menstruation, Penelope, the surgeon, fights for the life of a girl after a bloody attack in the northern Syrian city. When Penelope travels home, the dead girl accompanies her as a red stain in her luggage and does not leave her side. Empathically, Judith Vanistendael describes the difficulties of getting used to each other again and understanding the different worlds: the loving husband, the growing daughter, the worried mother, the twin sister ... In wonderfully delicate watercolours, we gain insight into the inner life of the protagonist. In the epilogue, Vanistendael describes her own journey to the Moria refugee camp and thus brings the great hardship of refugees to our attention once again.