They are organisms that live with almost nothing and consist of only one cell: that’s right, we’re talking about unicellular organisms! But who would have thought that Gertrude Klemm, when she writes about this species in her novel of the same name, actually means us humans by this term – and not talking about bacteria or fungi?
It soon becomes clear that her new book, whose title is not accidental, is about the attitude towards autism not only of men towards women, but also towards women and, above all, people towards people. Because no matter how hard the protagonists try, it remains difficult for everyone to see the bigger picture.
The content of “Einzeller” is easy to figure out: in a women’s communal apartment, they are looking for an addition: and so it happens that two special characters finally win the race: lawyer Flora and student Lilly are chosen from among thirty applicants – even if there is not quite a fair one. And these two are now allowed to live in the old school building, which used to house a startup, along with Simone, Eleonora, and Maren.
The three of them are particularly taken with Lilly: she is lovable, curious and much younger than Simone, Eleonora and Maren. Is it any wonder that Lily is one of the two main voices in the book? But the second protagonist of the text, who acts as a surface of reflection and projection, is presented in a way that not only a man but a woman should like: Simone Heppenstreet, a longtime political activist with style, grows on the reader—and above all on the reader, especially someone like me, directly to my heart. Her inner monologues, designed in the third perspective, are ironic in style and are at the same time lively and witty, such that one likes to become curious and delve deeper and deeper into one’s inner stream of consciousness.
The bourgeois version of being a woman
The form of the text is varied: Gertrude Klemm lets us take part in the life of Lily and then again in the life of Simon. It’s immediately apparent here who among the two women is the alpha: definitely Simon. She gets a slightly grumpy tone in the chapters about the world allotted to her—and her gentle attitude exerts a great appeal on Lily, who then lives out the more bourgeois version of being a woman in our society—but somehow has the longing. go ahead. This is how these five sexy characters meet each other in their shared apartment. It’s not entirely hurtful — because the five women of different generations all have very different views on current political issues like abortion, queer feminism, wake-up, transgenderism or MeToo. It is true that everyone agrees that it is important to defend oneself against the threatening global shift to the right – but unfortunately that is about it.
However, as much as the two women rubbed against each other, they still did not stop stroking each other and holding up the mirror to each other. And that’s a good thing, because: “As long as we behave like single-celled organisms, there will be nothing with gender equality.”
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