Wednesdays Are Wunderbar – German Literature Month Giveaway – August by Christa Wolf


It’s Wednesday again and you already know what that means. We’re hosting a giveaway. This week’s copies are from Seagull Books (University of Chicago Press).

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For this year’s German Literature Month I have the opportunity to give away two copies of Christa Wolf’s August, translated by Katy Derbyshire. Since I’m hosting a Christa Wolf week this year, I’m particularly pleased about this giveaway.

Christa Wolf Week

Here’s what the editor writes about August:

Christa Wolf was arguably the best-known and most influential writer in former East Germany. Having grown up during the Nazi regime, she and her family were forced to flee their home like many others, nearly starving to death in the process. Her earliest novels were controversial because they contained veiled criticisms of the Communist regime which landed her on government watch lists. Her past continued to permeate her work and her life, as she said, “You can only fight sorrow when you look it in the eye.”

August is Christa Wolf’s last piece of fiction, written in a single sitting as an anniversary gift to her husband. In it, she revisits her stay at a tuberculosis hospital in the winter of 1946, a real life event that was the inspiration for the closing scenes of her 1976 novel Patterns of Childhood. This time, however, her fictional perspective is very different. The story unfolds through the eyes of August, a young patient who has lost both his parents to the war. He adores an older girl, Lilo, a rebellious teenager who controls the wards. Sixty years later, August reflects on his life and the things that she taught him.

Written in taut, affectionate prose, August offers a new entry into Christa Wolf’s work and, incidentally, her first and only male protagonist. More than a literary artifact, this new novel is a perfectly constructed story of a quiet life well lived. For both August and Christa Wolf, the past never dies.

If you are interested in winning this book, leave a comment, telling me why you’d like to read it.

The competition is open internationally. The winner will be announced on Saturday October 31 2015, around 18:00 Central European time.

22 thoughts on “Wednesdays Are Wunderbar – German Literature Month Giveaway – August by Christa Wolf

  1. What a lovely giveaway! I’ve read one Wolf and loved it, and hope to join in with the reading week. But this is a new one to me (I only own her Viragos) and I’d be interested to see how her writing had changed by the end of her life so please enter me! 🙂

  2. Christina Wolf sounds like another writer that I would like to read.

    Reading her biography I am thinking how hard to imagine being a writer under a totalitarian regime that is hostile to one’s work.

  3. I would love to be included in the giveaway, but I just got a copy of this book 🙂 So, wonderful to know that you will be giving away this book. I will have some reading partners now 🙂

  4. I forgot to write why I’d like to read this. First of all because I never heard of this author so I’m intrigued and second because even though I generally stayed away from books about war, “The Book Thief” and “A Time to Love and a Time to Die” have slowly changed my perception.

  5. I’m greatly intrigued by the perspective of someone who lived in East Germany during the war, so will definitely add her books to the pile. No need to enter my name in the giveaway–I have too many books already. 🙂

  6. Hello, I am planning to take part this month and to that end I have been collecting a number of prospective German titles (I won’t get through them all I am sure). Four of my five Seagull purchases to date have been German lit and this is one I have eyed. I have only recently become aware of this author as my interest in German lit has been rapidly expanding and I would be interested in reading this book because sadly I do not have many female authors among my present collection. Oh, and because Seagull Books are simply fantastic.

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