Tuesday, 18 May 2010

Based in Berlin

Now that I am a Berliner (of sort) I love discovering other people who have also called this city home. As I mentioned before, my boyfriend's birthday was last week, so I gave him a copy of one of my favorite books: Middlesex by American author Jeffrey Eugenides. I hadn't read it in over six years and didn't remember much more than the basic plot details and the fact that I really enjoyed it, but I still had the desire to pass it on. One major fact that I failed to recollect until K started reading it, is that a majority of the book takes place in Berlin. After doing some Internet research I found that Eugenides himself lived here while he wrote the novel. Have I always been drawn to this city and just never realized it? I won't get too California girl on you and start discussing fate and all, I'm just saying.... So here is an excerpt I found interesting (bitchy NYC and David Bowie!) from an interview with the author after he wrote Middlesex, which of course I highly recommend along with his other novel The Virgin Suicides, which Sofia Coppola highly recommends as well.

He, his wife, Karen Yamouchi, and daughter, Georgie, moved to Berlin at the invitation of the German Academic Exchange programme. It was here that most of Middlesex was written, with Eugenides taking advantage of the chance to take a break from the pressures and bitchiness of literary New York. He weaved Berlin into the book.

"What with its history as a divided city, it seemed that it would fit into the theme of Middlesex - the divisions between and within people."

He lives on the unfashionable but lively Hauptstrasse, home to a large proportion of the city's Turkish population, in a house, according to the neighbours (who have all read his book and discuss it with him in the stairwell), where David Bowie lived during his love affair with the city in the 1970s and - appropriately enough - during his flirtations with androgyny.

No comments: