German / Austria
Passiert es heute? Passiert es jetzt?
(Will it happen today? Will it happen now?)
Wien: Jungbrunnen, 2018. – 173 p.
Father | Emotional abuse | Tyranny | Self-defense | Psychiatric clinic
Reading age: 14+
White Ravens issue: 2019
How can you stand a father who torments his own family; who monitors, humiliates, and insults his wife, son, and daughter; who dominates and manipulates them; who forbids everything; who hits the roof about trivialities, while at the same time trying to uphold the appearance of a perfect family? The answer is: you can’t. In Michèle Minelli’s novel “Passiert es heute? Passiert es jetzt?” (Will it happen today? Will it happen now?), the author has her fifteen-year-old protagonist Wolfgang talk about the goings-on in his family bullied by a tyrant. During conversations with his therapists inside the adolescent psychiatric ward, isolated episodes are put together to create a shocking picture. Even though Wolfgang is deeply disturbed, his narrative is astonishingly well-worded, an aspect that doesn’t seem entirely convincing. Despite this, the book is an intense novel that sheds light on power abuse, psychological blackmail, and horror.