Author: Christa Wolf
Translated by Katy Derbyshire
9780857427076 | PB | pp. 56 | 2019 | Seagull Books
August is a story of a quiet life well lived. The story revolves around August, a young patient, who admires an older girl, Lilo who controls the wards.
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August is Christa Wolf’s 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, 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.
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About the Contributors
The author (1929–2011) was a German novelist, essayist and screenwriter whose works include the ground-breaking novels The Quest for Christa T (1968), Patterns of Childhood (1976) and Cassandra (1983).
The translator is British-born and based in Berlin. She is the coeditor of no man’s land, an online literary magazine of contemporary German writing in English.
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