SEPTEMBER 1942: My beloved brother and ally leaves me behind and goes to kindergarten. To cheer me up he leaves me a picnic underneath an old hat.
SEPTEMBER 1944: I start primary school. My teacher seems like the Archangel Gabriel to me. Even so I don't understand the connection between words and pictures in our first reading book and when I try to add up in my head I have my first blackout.
JULY 1946: I travel through war-ravaged France with my mother and three siblings. Through the train window I see a house which is missing two walls and whose floors are hanging dow n. Drips fall on us from a big blue hat box. My mother didn't want to leave the ripe peaches from the garden behind.
SEPTEMBER 1950: I start middle school. Every time I walk to school I wish I was dead or seriously ill so I won't have to go to school any more.
OCTOBER 1950: My joyful escape into extracurricular reading begins with Lisa Tetzner's 'Experiences and Adventures of the Children from No. 67' in several volumes.
OCTOBER 1955: A fairy tale prince appears riding an Arab stallion and fills every fibre of my body and soul.
NOVEMBER 1966: My first son is born in America. With its long chrome counter, the reception area of the maternity ward feels like a butcher's shop. The fat nurse wears green overalls and a shower cap.
SEPTEMBER 1973: I start a university course. I see Arizona State University as the "promised land".
SEPTEMBER 2001: I start another course in art and feel like I'm walking on air.
MARCH 2003: I watch the beginning of the Iraq war on television. I have the feeling that I am the victim of a gang rape.