Late on the evening of August 8th I was walking home through the quiet leafy streets of my neighborhood, my thoughts with my sister, walking away from me toward her place on the other side of the busy street that divides our neighborhood into her Nord and my Mitte. One of us often accompanies the other all the way to her door only to then retrace our steps together to enjoy each other’s company for a little while longer. This time we had said good-bye on the steps of our favorite neighborhood hang-out, and I was trying to dispel superstitious dread--her walk was longer than mine--when I came across what I can best describe as a pop-up sidewalk garden: buckets filled with flowers, bright spots of color visible even in the darkness. There was a wooden stand with postcards. I took one and stepped out of the shadow of the Linden tree to read about the sisters who had once lived in the house whose lovely façade I had often admired. On August 8th, 1938, they took their own lives after turning their apartment into a sea of flowers, “ein Blumenmeer.” They were Jewish.
Among Grimms’ fairytales there are plenty of stories about sister rivalry, about the good sister and the hateful one. There is only one that I remember where sisters step into adulthood as friends rather than foes. It’s called Snow-White and Rose-Red, “Schneeweisschen und Rosenrot.”
A little about myself:
Hello there and thank you for visiting my website! I have lived in Spain, Mexico, France and the United States, but now make my home in Germany. I have a Ph.D. in Literary Studies and a Master's in TESOL, and have published several books for children, among them El Loro Tico Tango and El Fandango de Lola, a 2012 Ezra Jack Keats Honor Book. As a writer and an artist I'm in constant conversation with my own anxious mind even as I celebrate the joyful possibilities of our crazy, incomprehensible world.