Berg’s novel plots the life of Toto, born in the German Democratic Republic under unfortunate circumstances, leading on the one hand to a tale of rotten luck and chronic mistreatment at the hands of others as a young intersex individual, but on the other to her individual rise to self-confidence and contentment, despite all, with her lot. Berg describes Toto as a ‘monument to all the people on the margins of society, all the outsiders, the sick, the too fat, the too thin, the homosexuals, those who have to justify being who they are and loving who they love’. This deeply psychological and wittily written work typifies Berg’s artistic project of using shock to shift expectations. It would appeal to readers interested in queer and intersex writing, and possibly even to students of GDR history.
Suggested by Matthew Hines.