Book Review: “Why the Child is Cooking the Polenta”

As part of their work for the Multicultural Germany undergraduate seminar at UC Berkeley, students in the course have reviewed recent German books relating in various ways to topics of migration, multiculturalism, and contemporary German identity. Ying Ruan reviewed Aglaja Veteranyi’s novel “Warum das Kind das Polenta kocht” (Why the Child is Cooking the Polenta): 

Why the Child is Cooking in the Polenta is a semi-autobiographical novel written by Romanian writer Aglaja Veteranyi in 1999. The narrator is an unnamed girl, who travels with her circus-performing family to western Europe from Romania. As illegal migrants, the family members encounter difficulties which reveal the real living situations of foreign refugees in western European countries. The book explores the complexities of the relationship between language and identity, and the dilemma between staying and finding a way home… [read full review here] 

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