Autobiography of a Plum

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Autobiography of a plum (original title: Autobiographie d'une Courgette , literal translation: Autobiography of a zucchini ) is a novel by the writer Gilles Paris from 2002 and was first published in Germany in 2004. The book bears his name because it is told from the narrative perspective of the protagonist , nicknamed Plum. However, the plot is not based on any real person, but is purely fictional .


Nine-year-old Icare, called Pflaume, lives alone with his mother because his father left the family years ago. His mother has had a paralyzed leg since a car accident and is unemployed, and she is also an alcoholic . She often grumbles about heaven and beats her son, which Icare sees as a connection and therefore believes that if he killed heaven, his mother would no longer have to get upset and would no longer beat him. When he finds a revolver in her dresser , he shoots it into the clouds with the intention of killing the sky. Hearing this, his mother runs out and tries to snatch the gun from him, whereupon a shot goes off and kills her fatally.

After the body is discovered, Icare is taken to a children's home by policeman Raymond , who visits him every weekend from then on.

In the home, Icare gets to know many other children with similarly sad to strange fates: Simon, who always acts as a leader and whose past none of the children knows; Ahmed, a tearful bedwetter whose father is in jail for robbing a bank; Alice who was beaten by her parents and is completely distraught; Jujube, an overweight hypochondriac whose mother disappeared to Peru ; the Chafouin brothers Boris and Antoine, who play their "dictionary game" with terms of illness and whose parents died in a car accident; Beatrice, who was sexually abused by her father and whose mother always promises to visit her at the home but never does; and a few more, but they don't play an important role in the novel.

Raymond, who visits Icare regularly, develops into a father figure for him. After a while a girl named Camille, who previously lived with her aunt, comes to the home; Icare falls in love with her and a kind of childlike love relationship develops between the two. The two also become friends with Raymond's son Victor, whose mother has died. Since Raymond, Victor, Camille and Icare are like a family over time, the two children in care will eventually be from the police adopted .

At the end of the book, Icare realizes that he no longer wants to kill heaven because he has found more important things on earth.

Film adaptation

In 2016, the stop-motion film Mein Leben als Zucchini was an adaptation of the novel.