Interest in Christa Wolf continues to grow. Her classics are being reprinted and new titles are appearing posthumously, becoming bestsellers, and being translated. Energetic scholarly debates engage well-known aesthetic and political issues that the public intellectual herself fore-fronted. This broad-ranging introduction to the author, her work and times builds upon and moves beyond such foundational interpretative frameworks by articulating the global relevance of Wolf’s oeuvre today, also for non-German readers. Thus, it brings East German culture alive to students, teachers, scholars and the general public by connecting the socialist German Democratic Republic (GDR) and the lived experiences of its citizens to nations and cultures around the world. The collection focuses on topical matters including the search for authenticity, agency, race, cosmopolitanism, gender, environmentalism, geopolitics, war, and memory debates, as well as movie adaptations and Wolf’s film work with DEFA, marketing, and international reception. Our contributions – by senior and emerging scholars from across the globe – emphasize Wolf’s position as an author of world literature and an important critical voice in the 21st century.
Sonja E. Klocke, University of Wisconsin, Madison, USA; Jennifer R. Hosek, Queen's University, Kingston, Ontario, Canada.