When The Quest for Christa T. was first published in East Germany in 1968, there was an immediate storm: bookshops in East Berlin were given instructions to sell it only to well-known customers professionally involved in literary matters; at the annual meeting of East German Writers Conference, Mrs Wolf's new book was condemmed. Yet the novel has nothing explicitly to do with politics.
Praise for The Quest for Christa T.
On the surface we merely have the story of a sensitive woman as recalled by her friend. On this level Christa T. was a good citizen who did as she was told and lived a seemingly unexceptional life. But between the lines lies the real story of Christa T. -- the story of an individual crushed by the pressures of uniformity. If you bear in mind it is the first novel of any consequence to emerge from Ulbricht's East Germany, then it becomes something of a literary landmark. - John Barkman, New York Post
The contours of silence and the outline of things articulately left unsaid loom large in the muted brilliance of this novel. - Ernst Pawek, The New York Review of Books
It is a courageous book that breaks taboos and, as we have come to expect from Christa Wolf, it is infused with an integrity and a deep moral concern. . . - The (London) Times Literary Supplement
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