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The Giraffe's Neck

by Judith Schalansky

Inge Lohmark describes her life as a child, wife, mother and teacher. The inadequacies of the former East German government, the inaptitude of her pupils, her own failings as a mother and her future career are constantly on her mind. What redeems her from despair is her love and obsession with natural evolution. Some prior knowledge and understanding of biology will enhance the reader's experience. A very unusual novel. I enjoyed it.

Extract

The sun glared through the glass facade, turning the classroom into a greenhouse. The expectation of summer germinated somewhere in the back of empty minds. The mere prospect of wasting their days in utter futility robbed the children of all their concentration. With swimming pool eyes, greasy skin and a sweaty urge for freedom they slumped on their chairs and dozed their way towards the holidays.
Translated by Shaun Whiteside

Parallels

The Russian Dreambook of Colour and Flight by Gina Ochsner
The Staff Room by Marcus Orths
 

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