A soft-spoken transvestite wanting nothing more than to live as a hausfrau, Charlotte von Mahlsdorf instead was caught up in the most harrowing dramas of 20th-century Europe, surviving both the Nazis and the Communists. Originally published as I Am My Own Woman, this exquisitely written autobiography reveals her lifelong pursuit of sexual liberty. The story is reaching an entirely new readership of enthusiastic theater fans with I Am My Own Wife, the new Broadway show by Doug Wright about the life of Charlotte von Mahlsdorf, winner of the 2004 Pulitzer Prize in drama.
I often wonder how such people ever survive at all.
Apart from being an extraordinary tale of survival, this was an interesting social history of the times. Charlotte certainly had the uncertain fortune of being born in "interesting times"
In spite of growing up through the rise of nazi regime, surviving the 'appratchniks' of this and the ensuing grey regime of the G.D.R., she managed to achieve much in finding and conserving items that would otherwise have been destroyed
Principally her great love of furniture from the 'Grundezheit' era became a motivating force in her life, but even so there were many side shoots to this story.
The achievement of defining and defending her own identity, identifying as a woman
born in a man's body was something that she also succeeded in doing.
This story is a reminder about the importance of accepting diversity, and valuing the
bravery of others. It is narrated beautifully by a man with a soft German accent, who seemed perfect for the role.
1 of 1 people found this review helpful