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A Woman [a novel]

Peter Härtling, translated by Joachim Neugroschel
A Woman [a novel]
ISBN: 978-08419-1047-8
1988/256 pages
Distributed for Holmes & Meier Publishers

"Katharina wins the war between the old Adam and the new Eve, between male chauvinism and feminine self-awareness.... Katharine Wüllner may perhaps be seen as a heroine of our time."—Times Literary Supplement

"In this novel of the decline of a family and of the cautious emancipation of a woman, Peter Härtling has written something that exists nowhere in contemporary literature: an entertaining popular novel that must be taken seriously.... Härtling has written the history of an erotic and political awakening."—Die Zeit

"One of the best serious novels that has been written about the middle class in Europe since 1945. [The book] has breadth, fullness, and its own strongly marked character. It is ingenious...."—Welt des Buches


The protagonist, Katharina Wüllner—like many other women who were born shortly after the turn of the century—married just after the First World War and then had to send her husband and sons to fight in World War II. Her life spans the regimes of Kaiser Wilhelm II, the Weimar Republic, Hitler's Reich, the Allied Occupation, and finally the Federal Republic. Her story is in many ways typical of twentieth-century German life—but at the same time, it is the story of a hesitant, almost fearful emancipation. For although her life is determined by political events and other external circumstances, Katharina Wüllner does, all the same, begin to try to make her own way.


Peter Härtling has had a long career as writer, editor, and managing director in the world of newspaper, magazine, and book publishing. A prolific author, he has devoted himself to writing full-time since 1974.