Lies About My Mother
(Lügen über Meine Mutter) by Daniela Dröscher
Published in August 2022 by Kiepenheuer & Witsch. 448 pages long.
A brilliant story of a dysfunctional family: a father is convinced that everything in his life would be better if his wife were slimmer. Told from the perspective of their young daughter, growing up in the early 80s, it is a highly readable novel dealing with the ever-relevant issue of fattism and a woman’s battle to be in charge of her own body. It focusses on serious feminist issues, while retaining a sense of humour and a unique childlike lightness of touch.
Set in a provincial village, the story shows that ingrained attitudes towards the woman’s role in a family were taking some time to shift – a scenario by no means limited to Germany. Meanwhile the 1980s cultural references add a charming and uplifting sense of nostalgia: Bazooka Joes, Abba songs and mentions of Boris Becker and Chernobyl, as well as the narrator’s wonder at her father’s investment in new technology such as touch-tone phones and Reactolite glasses, make the setting come alive.