Der fremde Freund. Drachenblut

Christoph Hein

Publisher: Suhrkamp

Germany
German
Fiction
2005

“I have become invulnerable. I have bathed in dragon’s blood, and no lime-tree leaf leaves me unprotected anywhere. I will never get out of this skin”. That is the conclusion of the first-person narrator, a female doctor at an East Berlin hospital, childless, divorced. She narrates from an apparently completely normal woman’s life and yet behind the cool, demure facade the fears, the distrust and the frustrations are evident, separating her mercilessly from the world, from herself, from her own childhood and from Henry, her boyfriend, who lives in the same tower block and remains alien to her until the end. Unsparing and rather suggestively Hein tells of loneliness and ‘un-relatedness’ in the GDR at the beginning of the Eighties. Christoph Hein made his literary breakthrough with the short story Der fremde Freund (title of the English translation: The Alien Friend), which was published in 1982 and which came out in the West a year later under the title Drachenblut (title of the English translation: Dragon Blood).

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