This volume is the first anthology of contemporary East German women's writing in English translation. It will introduce scholars and general readers to writers whose voices are essential to an understanding of the situation of women in today's changing Europe. Included are short stories, essays, autobiographical sketches, and excerpts from novels, written between 1974 and 1986 by women of the postwar generation. Their work reflects everyday life in the GDR before the fall of the Berlin Wall with vitality, sympathy, humor, and warmth. This literature has been of great significance within the GDR as a public forum for social-critical discussion, and in the West for its depiction—as the volume title suggests—of universal issues confronting women in modern society: women and work, women and family, women’s self-determination in relation to other people and social institutions.
The twenty-five authors represented are Renate Apitz, Irene Böhme, Daniela Dahn, Gabriele Eckart, Christiane Grosz, Monika Helmecke, Helga Königsdorf, Angela Krauss, Katja Lange-Müller, Beate Morgenstern, Irmtraud Morgner, Christa Müller, Doris Paschiller, Helga Schubert, Helga Schütz, Maria Seidemann, Angela Stachowa, Gerti Tetzner, Maxie Wander, Petra Werner, Maja Wiens, Christa Wolf, Christina Wolter, Charlotte Worgitzky, and Rosemarie Zeplin. Notes and biographical introductions are provided for each story.