A Story

by Madelena Grossmann
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Such an inspirational story, from such an inspirational person. This detailed account of the plight of people who find themselves as refugees and in particular child refugees, so often unaccompanied, paints the picture of hope, courage and despair which they experience. Highlighting the cruel situation that child refugees still find themselves in through no fault of their own is desperately important, and having volunteered on Leros at the same time as Madelena I feel all her emotions for these people. Well done.

Good to know that there are people in this world who are ready to give you a hand when you are in need. Excellent story and example of humanity. I can feel the pain and hope of people, so well it is described. Thank you very much for true story.

The events in the high phase of the flow of refugees (2015/2016) on the Greek islands are detailed in countless reports. Most of them focused on the macro level of developments and gave the reader an insight into and an explanation of the geopolitical context. The logical consequence was that in most cases, and for technical reasons alone, personal fates were sketched relatively rarely and then only superficially.

This story by Grossmann is a masterpiece of multitasking writing and narrative density. The story is structured in narrative concentric circles and allows us to experience remarkable things. The focus is on eleven-year-old Nina from Syria with a tendency to swim upstream, like a salmon and taking on more than she could manage. Grossmann manages to explain us in very few words why the sort of sadness Nina carries so long becomes an integral part of her personality.

Around Nina and in the unimaginable mayhem are volunteers who have learned never to trust anyone else to do things right. And around them are a thousand refugees who have learned the necessity of living with hard constraints.

At the end of the short story Nina is on her way to Germany and the reader has mixed feelings. The joy for Nina's successful departure is (almost) overshadowed by the sadness of not being able to follow her farther. And that's part of Grossmann's narrative success.

Beautiful. Heart breaking, and loved with her writing. I want to read more stories from you Mrs Grossmann