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Wie ich versuchte, ein guter Mensch zu sein / How I tried to be a good person

© Ulli Lust / Suhrkamp Verlag

Wie ich versuchte, ein guter Mensch zu sein / How I tried to be a good personbyUlli Lust

Suhrkamp Verlag

Extract (German)

Ulli Lust, a budding artist in her mid-twenties in Vienna, is in love with two men: twenty-year-old Georg, with whom things have fizzled out in bed, and Nigerian refugee Kimata, with whom she embarks on a passionate sexual affair. Then there is also a third man in the background – Ulli’s five-year-old son Philipp, growing up with his grandparents in the countryside. This tangle of relationships is the subject of Lust’s second autobiographical graphic novel, Wie ich versuchte, ein guter Mensch zu sein, an uninhibited and unrelenting story that blends personal experience with broad themes such as love and sex across age and cultural barriers, female empowerment, alternative family arrangements, refugee policy…

And it is a convincing one, as Lust presents herself neither as a victim or a perpetrator, but as a young, sometimes naïve, egotistical and sexually demanding woman overwhelmed by her situation and her various roles as partner, lover and mother. Lust recounts this troubled chapter of her youth in a direct, sketch-like style, with an urgency that is all but impossible to resist.