Christa Wolf: Biography

Christa Wolf

18 mar 1929

Christa Wolf was born Christa Ihlenfeld in Germany in 1929. She was a novelist and literary critic, becoming one of the most well -known literary figures to come from the former East Germany. She attended the University of Jena and the University of Leipzig to study Literature. When she graduated, she got a job with the German Writers’ Union and went on to become an editor at a publishing house.

In 1949 she joined the socialist party, and she would remain a member until 1989. Her own literary breakthrough came with her first novel Der geteilte Himmel, or Divided Heaven. It was well received and prompted her to go on to write many more novels. Probably the most well-known book of Wolf’s is Cassandra. This novel is a reinterpretation of the battle of Troy and it focuses on a shift from patriarchal to matriarchal dominance within society. What Remains is an incredibly important text as it tells the story of Wolf’s experiences living under surveillance by the Stasi. Although she finished writing it in 1979, this book wasn’t published until 1990, after the collapse of the Soviet Union.

Christa Wolf was considered a controversial writer and her accounts of life in East Germany give an important historical insight into the lives of thousands of people. They earned her an impressive list of prizes including the Heinrich Mann Prize, the Schiller Memorial Prize, the Georg Buchner prize, the Desutscher Bucherpreis and many others.

Christa Wolf died in Berlin in 2011 aged 81.