FINALLY THE BOOK I'VE WANTED FOR AGES CAME TODAY!
Christiane F: Wir Kinder Vom Bahnhof Zoo.
real name Christiane Felscherinow.
It is the story of a girl from a middle-class house who likes to sneak out to discos at night time. There among the bright lights she discovers heroin and life takes a downward slide. She finds herself leading a double life: going to school by day and sneaking out at night to Bahnhof Zoo (Berlin's equivalent of Kings Cross station) and prostituting herself for heroin money. And it takes her mother two years to realize what is wrong!
The book was a big bestseller in Germany. I heard it is (or was) a set text in German schools.
It WAS translated into English, published by Transworld in the UK but is now out of print. I doubt it has ever gone out of print in German.
In the English-speaking world the film Christiane F (with soundtrack by David Bowie) is of course far more famous. What's remarkable (for a film) is that the on-screen Christiane and her boyfriend Detlef really do look like the real-life pair.
Not much is known about what became of the real Christiane F. She gave an interview in her early 20s (link below) ~ when she had just been busted for heroin possession again. I heard that she has died ...
This was Christiane Felscherinow towards the end:
Christiane F age 23 ~ interview
I borrowed this book from one of my German school-exchange partners & although had just taken my GCSE at the time, I found I could understand the vast majority of the book, as it was written by a teenager and therefore doesn't contain many complicated words!
I have tried to buy this book several times in the *cough* 13 years *cough* since I read it, but always found it was out of print. So when I found out a couple of years ago that this book had come back into print I just had to buy it.
Wir Kinder Vom Bahnhof Zoo really is one of the most powerful books I have ever read, if you are a parent of German speaking children I would thoroughly reccommend you give them this to read when they are about 14 or 15. I'm sure it will definately make them think twice about taking drugs!
Like all the best books I have ever read the 'characters' in the book really do leep out at you, you can just imagine being in 1970's Berlin alongside these teenagers.
I think that this book is so powerful that if it were ever translated into English (& why I ask hasn't it been already???) it should be taught in our schools.
Here's the Christiane F filmclip formerly on my sidebar:
("Wir Kinder vom Bahnhoff Zoo")
Berlin has long been a centre of "alternative" living, attracting the artistic and dejected. And of course heroin rushes into such a void:
You can see the film in its entirety on my random blog by clicking HERE.
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