Adriana Stern Autorin

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English Version

Exposé Summary

Hannah can't remember why she had to run away from home, but it was urgent. In the bag she took with her there was a diary written by herself and "the Others". It refers to the violence she experienced from her parents, the despair but also the courage it took to escape. Hannah meets Janne, who helps her get to a Girls' Refuge. Her new carer Noa knows what it means if a girl is multiple and how to deal with that. Hannah and the Others are in good hands with her. But when Noa goes away for two weeks the other carers won't accept a diagnosis which is not medically recognized, and they refuse to talk to the personalities. They want Hannah to leave the Girls' Refuge, claiming she has broken the rules. In fact the perpetrators are to blame for this - because they have tracked Hannah down in her new school. But the personalities are unable to explain this. At the last minute Noa and Janne attempt to free Hannah from the hands of the perpetrators and get her to safety.

Narrative Perspective

The perspectives employed in the narrative reflect the many facets of the protagonist, Hannah. As the personalities change the reader experiences each new personality with its own character, as well as Hannah's confusion at the moment when she returns.

The narrative thread develops on the one hand from the experiences of individual personalities and on the other hand from the viewpoint of the adults, Janne and the carer at the Girls' Refuge, Noa.

Diary entries are incorporated as intermezzos. The sections of the diaries are in different fonts, depending on the personality who has written them, and this explicitly demonstrates the inner conflict of a multiple life. The diary entries begin a year before the actual events of the novel but conclude simultaneously with the end of the narrative.


The Protagonists

Hannah Merkum: 15 years old, knows nothing of the story and the Others

Some of the personalities who belong to Hannah: John: 14 years old, protector of Miriam, Hannah and some other children, doesn't know all the personalities, is outside often and enjoys that Jurek: 14 years old, Basti's best friend, member of the documenter group along with Basti, Franziska and Burkhard

Basti: 13 years old, rebellious and communicative, knows Klara, Hannah, Miriam, Basti and John
Silver: 16 years old, the painter in the system; she doesn't know the Others

Sascha: 5 years old, likes being outside, knows other personalities

Lela: 5 years old, deeply traumatized, desperately searches for help

Sammy and Sunny: 9 years old, believe it is crucial for them to return home

Other protagonists who do not belong to Hannah

Noa Epstein: Hannah's carer in the Girls' Refuge

Janne Mai: helps Hannah and the Others as they escape to the Girls' Refuge; she also becomes a friend

Length
This self-contained novel is 285 pages long and is divided into 12 chapters and 12 diary entries, which alternate. The final section is an afterword by the author containing a list of advice centers and aid organizations throughout Germany for those affected by this condition and the people around them.

Other Works on the Subject
Up to now almost the only writing available about Multiple Personality Disorder, also known as Dissociative Identity Disorder, has been in the form of factual reports or textbooks for adults. "Hannah and the Others" is the first suspense novel for all ages on the subject of Multiple Personality Disorder. It was first published in 2001 by Argument Publishing House in Hamburg, initially as a novel for young adults (2001, 2003) and then (in 2005) as a successful novel for all ages. Demand shows no sign of abating; the publisher and the author continue to receive many letters from people who are directly affected, deeply moved readers, school pupils and interested social workers.

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