Sophie Discovers Amerika

June 2014
6 black and white illustrations
324 pages
9x6 in
Studies in German Literature Linguistics and Culture
ISBN: 9781571135865
Format: Hardback
Library eBook
Camden House
BISAC LIT004170, SOC032000

Sophie Discovers Amerika

German-Speaking Women Write the New World

Edited by Rob McFarland, Michelle Stott James

Cultural and literary historians investigate the unique literary bridge between German-speaking women and the "New World," examining novels, films, travel literature, poetry, erotica, and photography.
In a 1798 novel by Sophie von La Roche, a European woman swims across a cold North American lake seeking help from the local indigenous tribe to deliver a baby. In a 2008 San Francisco travel guide, Milena Moser, the self-proclaimed "Patron Saint of Desperate Swiss Housewives," ponders the guilty pleasures of a media-saturated world. Wildly disparate, these two texts reveal the historical arc of a much larger literary constellation: the literature of German-speaking women who interact with the New World.
In this volume, cultural historians from around the world investigate this unique literary bridge between two hemispheres, focusing on New-World texts written by female authors from Germany, Austria, or Switzerland. Encompassing a broad range of genres including novels, films, travel literature, poetry, erotica, and even photography, the essays include women's experiences across both American continents. Many of the primary literary texts discussed in this volume are available in the online collections of Sophie: A Digital Library of Works by German-Speaking Women (

Contributors: Christiane Arndt, Karin Baumgartner, Ute Bettray, Ulrike Brisson, Carola Daffner, Denise M. Della Rossa, Linda Dietrick, Silke R. Falkner, Maureen O. Gallagher, Nicole Grewling, Monika Hohbein-Deegen, Gabi Kathöfer, Thomas W. Kniesche, Julie Koser, Judith E. Martin, Sarah C. Reed, Christine Rinne, Tom Spencer, Florentine Strzelczyk, David Tingey, Petra Watzke, Chantal Wright.

Rob McFarland and Michelle Stott James are both Associate Professors of German at Brigham Young University.

An e-book version of this title is available (9781571138989), to libraries through a number of trusted suppliers. See here for a full list of our partners.


[D]raws writers from a period of 200 years, from a wide range of genres, and includes a broad range of techniques to analyze them. . . . [Does] a remarkable job of bringing twenty-three women writers of German to the forefront and providing a context from which to further conversations about women and their importance in shaping Germany as a Kulturnation. COMPARATIVE LITERATURE STUDIES

The essays are . . . informative and constitute a welcome addition to the scholarship on transatlantic literary history. . . . [The volume] will be, . . . a worthwhile companion to the Sophie website. MONATSHEFTE

This volume contains 22 essays, a thoughtful introduction, and a valuable bibliography. It offers original reflections on ways in which German-speaking authors from the 18th to the 21st centuries encountered the New World. . . . The book offers provocative material suggesting new avenues of study. CHOICE

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