Im Rahmen meines Projektes HOFFNUNG
mit den beiden Literatwos hat sich dieses „Interview Unplugged“ einfach so ergeben, es war nicht so von mir geplant.
Mein Dank dafür an die Autorin, Asa Anderberg Strollo, die sehr zügig auf meine ganz spontane Mail geantwortet und so einen kleinen „Briefwechsel“ ermöglicht hat.
Es ist doch sehr erhellend, die Ansichten der Verfasserin zu kennen! Diese Gelegenheit bietet sich nicht oft und ich bin Asa sehr dankbar dafür!
Sehr neugierig hat sie mich auf ihr Erstlingswerk (siehe Interview) gemacht, das leider bisher nicht in deutscher Sprache erschienen ist. Dennoch wird eine kleine Recherche sicher sehr lohnenswert sein!
Bevor ich den Briefwechsel UNPLUGGED wiedergebe, möchte ich euch die Autorin aber zunächst gerne vorstellen….und mich für mein eingerostetes Englisch entschuldigen….immerhin: Frau Strollo hat mich verstanden ;-)
Asa Anderberg Strollo
*+* Irve liest… und Asa Anderberg Strollo UNPLUGGED *+*
Dear Mrs. Anderberg Strollo,
I’m just reading your book ‚Hoffnung‘. It’s a great book and I’m very impressed about your descriptions of Jonna and the other young persons‘ street-life.
As I’m taking part in a project with „Literatwo“ I’d be very pleased to be allowed to ask you some questions.
I’ve already mentioned it…your description of that kind of life makes me feel helpless, sad, embarrased and also made me cry when reading some parts.
How did you get all these information? Did you contact streetworkers or do you know any of those kids? Or is that book a bit biographic at all? Thanks in advance for your reply, Heike
Dear Heike, thank you for your letter.
You made me really happy, I am so glad to hear that you are impressed about my novel Hoffnung. It took some time to write, since I wanted everything to feel almost like true. Homelessness among youth is such an important subject to me, I did not want any readers to think that I did not know what I was writing about… but in the beginning I didn’t, haha.
I guess all books are biographic in a way, but I was not the runaway-type of a teen. I was the type that stays at home nor matter what, and I wrote about that in my very first novel, Bryta om (Alfabeta 2007) (it is not translated into German yet, but please ask for it if you have any contacts with publishers, it was nominated to the biggest Swedish litterature Prize, Augustpriset).
I met a seventeen year old girl living on and off in the streets since thirteen when I was at schools speaking about my first novel, and I hanged out with her for some time. Her stories about streetlife and how to survive and cope inspired me, but then I unfortunately lost contact with her. But I did a lot of more research too, I interviewed streetworkers at this centre Stadsmissionen Unga Station which is in the book, it is such a hopegiving place, and I read all science I could find about the topic, mostly essays that was financed by the RedCross in Sweden. If I worked with the book for two years, writing was just a couple of months. I hope this will be something to discuss in schools etc, so kids can get help before it has gone too far.
Take care, thanks again for writing, please write me back if you have the time.
Dear Asa, thank you so much for your quick reply.
Unfortunately I don t have any contacts to publishers as I am just a reader feeding my book-blog (https://irveliest.wordpress.com).
I haven´t finished your novel at all, but think it would be a very good school-literature. I don´t know so very much about this topic, but your story feels very authentic. It is just describing the situations of all the girls without showing a raised forefinger. I think that is much more impressing to the youth than always telling them how street-life is.
When I read about the first of Jonna´s experiences in her new life I really felt bad, but then it became worse and worse. Nevertheless I never had the impression that you are telling a story just to entertain and have a good time of „sensations“. Your novel came directly into my heart as I felt this impressions and experiences are not the biography of an existing Jonna but there are unfortunately too many teens partizipating in this.
Asa, did I get it right, that you had the idea to write about the topic of homelessness among these youth because you met that seventeen year old girl, when you came around the schools to introduce your first book?
Thank you again!
Of course you can post our „talk“ on your book-blog, I will go there and read!
I am just happy to help and to spread thoughts about homeless teens, in my opinion there should of course be none in such rich countries as Sweden and Germany, but there are many. I had already started working with Hoffnung when I met the seventeen year old girl, but usually I write three or four versions on the script before I am satisfied and I met here during that process.
Talking about my writing and meeting readers in schools is a way of supporting myself while writing on a new book, so the talking is so to say always a step behind, but some of my themes go around so it is OK.
thanks for your permission.
Do you understand German? Then I could send you the link to my review. If you allow I would ask you another 2 questions, that came up to my mind last night: Why does the problem of homelessness of youth appear? What is the reason for teens to leave their homes. It seems too easy to me to give all the fault to the parents. Of course they are responsible for their children and should – in best case – care for them in all ways. But is that all, or do there exist more reasons for leaving home? What do you think? And what should be done to prevent that behaviour, the wish to replace life at home with that adventure on the streets. Who should change what??? Or is there no way out of the problem at all? Thank you so much again..
please send me the link. I studied German in school for some years so I will understand at least a bit.
I think one important reason is cuts in our social security system, at least in Sweden.
Sorry, many kids do not runaway from their biological parents but from a youth home, a foster family or other institutions that are not working as well as they should.
At least in Sweden the goverment are trying to save money on kids, but that is just stupid, I think. It is only more expensive in the end. If we had smaller groups of children and more teachers already in kindergarten we would easily see kids in need in a very early stage – and be able to help the whole family long before it is to late. If you start running away when you are a teen you loose so much – which is hard to gain later on in life. The years between 15-25 are so important!
It is not impossible to come back but many kids on the streets develop drug problems and criminal behavor etc, and become stuck in their situations. It is cheaper to help a homeless teenager than an homeless adult, but it is even cheaper (and more worthy for the whole society) to help them as children.
I think teens running away from home do it with hope the first time, as Jonna does (otherwise they might kill themselfs instead, as Angelika Andersson) and we must be there to prove that they made the right decision, when they turn to social workers etc the first time, and ask for help. That is at least what I think.
Take care, have a nice day! Åsa
Dear Asa, thank you so much again for your time spending on my questions!
Good luck for you and your books!!