Parting from Phantoms: Selected Writings, 1990-1994

Documenting four painful years in the life of German writer Christa Wolf, this collection of essays, letters and diary entries portrays the cultural and political situation in the former German Democratic Republic. An admired writer, Wolf was reviled after the publication of her novel What Remains , which was attacked by the press as a belated attempt to establish herself as a victim of the Stasi (the GDR's secret police). The criticism discredited Wolf as a cultural hero in the eyes of many Germans, and plunged her into a deep personal crisis. This volume shows Wolf coming to terms with her ambiguous past and an unforgiving present. Among the writings gathered in this book are discourses with Jurgen Habermas and Gunter Grass, a series of diary entries, and a critical account of Berlin one year after unification, entitled Whatever Happened to your Smile: Wasteland Berlin 1990 . In addition, Wolf defends herself from the media campaign waged against her in Germany. The truth about the GDR, she argues, will be found in its literature, not in the security files used to discredit the GDR's culture.