City of Angels

Or, the Overcoat of Dr. Freud

By Christa Wolf; Damion Searls (Translator)
(Farrar Straus Giroux, Hardcover, 9780374269357, 315pp.)

Publication Date: February 5, 2013

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Description

The stunning final novel from East Germany's most acclaimed writer

Three years after the fall of the Berlin Wall, the writer Christa Wolf was granted access to her newly declassified Stasi files. Known for her defiance and outspokenness, Wolf was not especially surprised to discover forty-two volumes of documents produced by the East German secret police. But what was surprising was a thin green folder whose contents told an unfamiliar--and disturbing--story: in the early 1960s, Wolf herself had been an informant for the Communist government. And yet, thirty years on, she had absolutely no recollection of it.
Wolf's extraordinary autobiographical final novel is an account of what it was like to reckon with such a shocking discovery. Based on the year she spent in Los Angeles after these explosive revelations, "City of Angels" is at once a powerful examination of memory and a surprisingly funny and touching exploration of L.A., a city strikingly different from any Wolf had ever visited.
Even as she reflects on the burdens of twentieth-century history, Wolf describes the pleasures of driving a Geo Metro down Wilshire Boulevard and watching episodes of "Star Trek "late at night. Rich with philosophical insights, personal revelations, and vivid descriptions of a diverse city and its citizens, "City of Angels" is a profoundly humane and disarmingly honest novel--and a powerful conclusion to a remarkable career in letters.




About the Author
Christa Wolf (1929-2011) was one of the most celebrated German writers of the twentieth century. Wolf was a central figure in East German literature and politics, and is the author of many books, including the novels "The Quest for Christa T.", " Patterns of Childhood", and "Cassandra".

Damion Searls is a writer in English and translator from German, French, Dutch, and Norwegian. Searls has translated writers including Ingeborg Bachmann, Thomas Bernhard, Peter Handke, Christa Wolf; his translation of Hans Keilson's "Comedy in a Minor Key "was a New York Times Notable Book of 2010 and National Book Critics Circle Award finalist in Fiction.
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