German Women's Writing in the Twenty-First Century

German Women's Writing in the Twenty-First Century

Edited by Hester Baer, Alexandra Merley Hill


Camden House



Essays in this volume rethink conventional ways of conceptualizing female authorship and re-examine the formal, aesthetic, and thematic terms in which German women's literature has been conceived.

What is the status of women's writing in German today, in an era when feminism has thoroughly problematized binary conceptions of sex and gender? Drawing on gender and queer theory, including the work of Lauren Berlant, Judith Butler, and Michel Foucault, the essays in this volume rethink conventional ways of conceptualizing female authorship and re-examine the formal, aesthetic, and thematic terms in which "women's literature" has been conceived. With an eye to the literary and feminist legacy of authors such as Christa Wolf and Ingeborg Bachmann, contributors treat the works of many of contemporary Germany's most significant literary voices, including Hatice Akyün, Sibylle Berg, Thea Dorn, Tanja Dückers, Karen Duve, Jenny Erpenbeck, Julia Franck, Katharina Hacker, Charlotte Roche, Julia Schoch, and Antje Rávic Strubel -- authors who, through their writing or their roles in the media, engage with questions of what it means to be a woman writer in twenty-first-century Germany.

Contributors: Hester Baer, Necia Chronister, Helga Druxes, Valerie Heffernan, Alexandra Merley Hill, Lindsay Lawton, Sheridan Marshall, Mihaela Petrescu, Jill Suzanne Smith, Carrie Smith-Prei, Maria Stehle, Katherine Stone.

Hester Baer is Associate Professor of Germanic Studies at the University of Maryland. Alexandra Merley Hill is Assistant Professor of German at the University of Portland.


May 2015
218 pages
9x6 in
Studies in German Literature Linguistics and Culture
ISBN: 9781571135841
Format: Hardback
Library eBook
Camden House
BISAC LIT004170, LIT004290, SOC032000
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Table of Contents

Introduction: German Women's Writing Beyond the Gender Binary
Language-Bodies: Interpellation and Gender Transition in Antje Rávic Strubel's Kältere Schichten der Luft and Judith Hermann's "Sonja"
Matrilineal Narrative and the Feminist Family Romance
The Pitfalls of Constructing a Female Genealogy: Cultural Memory of National Socialism in Recent Family Narratives
Reckoning with God: Attitudes toward Religion in German-Language Women's Writing in the Twenty-First Century
Muslim Writing, Women's Writing
Popfeminism, Ethnicity, and Race in Contemporary Germany: Hatice Akyün's Popfeminist Autobiographic Works Einmal Hans mit scharfer Soße (2005) and Ali zum Dessert (2008)
The Awkward Politics of Popfeminist Literary Events: Helene Hegemann, Charlotte Roche, and Lady Bitch Ray
The Indictment of Neoliberalism and Communism in the Novels of Katharina Hacker, Nikola Richter, Judith Schalansky, and Julia Schoch
Sounds of Silence: Rape and Representation in Juli Zeh's Bosnian Travelogue
Notes on the Contributors


Baer and Hill have put together an attractive collection that seeks to analyze contemporary fiction in conjunction with feminism. Using new perspectives in feminist theory, the contributors offer original interpretations and challenging insights. . . . Approaching contemporary literature in fresh, productive ways, all these essays are interesting and well researched. . . . Recommended. CHOICE

In sum, this volume presents a valuable and highly recommended reference for anyone interested not only in contemporary women's writing, but also intersectional feminist research and the debates surrounding feminist literary criticism. WOMEN IN GERMAN NEWSLETTER (Sonja Klocke)

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