Christa Wolf

August - Story

(German title: August)
ca. 44 pages
Christa Wolf
Foto: Christa Wolf
© Susanne Schleyer

Christa Wolf, born in Landsberg/Warthe (Gorzów Wielkopolski) in 1929, passed away in Berlin in 2011. Her work has been awarded numerous awards, including the Georg Büchner-, Thomas-Mann- and Uwe-Johnson Literary Awards.

Christa Wolf’s works are translated into 40 languages and include:

Stadt der Engel oder The Overcoat of Dr. Freud (2010)
Mit anderem Blick. Erzählungen (2005)
Ein Tag im Jahr. 1960-2000 (2003)
Leibhaftig. Erzählung (2002)
Was bleibt. Erzählung (1990)
Sommerstück (1989)
Störfall. Nachrichten eines Tages (1987)
Die Dimension des Autors. Essays und Aufsätze, Reden und Gespräche 1959-1985 (1986)
Kassandra. Erzählung (1983)
Kein Ort Nirgends (1979)
Kindheitsmuster (1976)
Nachdenken über Christa T. (1968)
Der geteilte Himmel. Erzählung (1963)

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English world rights (Seagull), Spanish world rights (Las migas también son pan), Brazilian Portuguese rights digital (Jaguatrica), France (Christian Bourgois), Italy (e/o), Estonia (Loomingu Raamatukogu), Serbia (Radni Sto), Slovenia (Modrijan)

»Christa Wolf’s latest book is indefinetly beautiful – at the same time poignant and luminous.« Annie Ernaux


Christa Wolf’s last story, written in the summer of 2011

In 1976, Christa Wolf published Kindheitsmuster (Patterns of Childhood), her major autobiographical book. It has since been translated into twenty languages. Thirty-five years later, her last story, written six months before her death, centres on one of the characters from Kindheitsmuster:

It is 1945 and eight-year-old August has lost his mother fleeing from East Prussia. He is taken to a remote sanatorium in an old castle. August’s time there would be dreary and desolate if it weren’t for Lilo. Lilo is seventeen. She is pretty and not afraid to lock horns with the head nurse. And when Lilo says August’s name it sounds different. Now, over sixty years later, August is thinking back to this first love. He has led a full life and has experienced what might even be called happiness.


»Christa Wolf’s posthumous novella is an act of reconciliation with her own life.« Florian Kessler, SZ

»The story is only about thirty pages long, but it is one of the most beautiful that Christa Wolf ever wrote. So tender and almost debonair, cool, concise, and warm-hearted all at once.« FAZ

»Christa Wolf lets her sentences speak for themselves: an atmosphere of trust, accompanied by songs and stories, gripping in places, overshadowed by loss […] There is a great deal of humanity and love in this story. A mature writer looking back in gratitude.« Cornelia Geißler, FR

»A serene, quiet text of great narrative force, made significant by the tone, which Christa Wolf has found for it. A curious silence falls when one begins to listen to the narrative voice.« Michael Opitz, Deutschlandradio Kultur

»Today’s reader will of course also find the happiness described here so strange that it is impossible to express that very strangeness in words at all. It simply strikes him, but in a haunting way that he will not be in a hurry to forget the experience of reading this slim volume.« Jana Hensel, Der Freitag

»This, her last story is a fully realised one. Truly: a musical postlude in prose.« Christian Eger, Mitteldeutsche Zeitung


Other publications

»Wir haben uns wirklich an allerhand gewöhnt«/»We truly got used to all sorts of things« (2019)

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Domestic Rights Sales: German Audiobook (Random House Audio)

Nachruf auf Lebende. Die Flucht/Obituary for the Living (2014)

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English world rights (Seagull), Italy (Edizioni e/o)

Ein Tag im Jahr im neuen Jahrhundert/One Day a Year (2013)

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English world rights (Seagull), France (Seuil), Japan (Dogakusha)

Stadt der Engel/City of Angels or The Overcoat of Dr. Freud (2010)

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English world rights (FSG), Spanish world rights (Alianza), Russia (AST), Arabic world rights (Al Kamel), France (Seuil), Italy (e/o), Netherlands (van Gennep), Sweden (Norstedts), Norway (Gyldendal Norsk), Korea (Munhakdongne), Hungary (Kalligram), Bulgaria (Lettera), Romania (Univers), Lithuania (Mintis), Serbia (Albatros), Turkey (Kirmizi Kedi), Greece (Kastaniotis), Macedonia (Blesok), Albania (Santori), Azerbaijan (Alatoran), Israel (Hakibbutz Hameuchad); previously published in the respective language / territory; rights available again: Chinese simplex rights (People’s Literature Publishing House), Denmark (Vandkunsten)

Domestic Rights Sales: German Book Club (Der Club Bertelsmann)

Mit anderem Blick/Another View (2005)

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Greece (Kastaniotis); previously published in the respective language / territory; rights available again: Spain (Circula De Lectores), Italy (Edizioni E/O)

Ein Tag im Jahr/One Day a Year (2003)

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English world rights (Europa Editions), Russia (Kabinetny Utcheny), France (Fayard); previously published in the respective language / territory; rights available again: Spanish world rights (Galaxia Gutenberg), Italy (Edizioni e/o), Denmark (Aschehoug), Japan (Dogakusha)

Kindheitsmuster/Patterns of Childhood (1976)

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USA (FSG), UK (Virago), Spanish world rights (Galaxia Gutenberg), Chinese simplex rights (Chunfeng Literature), Russia (Prawda), Arabic world rights (Kanaan), France (Stock), Italy (e/o), Netherlands (Van Gennep), Sweden (Norstedts), Japan (Kobunsha), Poland (Czytelnik), Czech Republic (Odeon), Slovakia (Smena), Hungary (Magvetö), Romania (Univers), Estonia (Eesti Raamat), Serbia (Svetlost), Greece (University Studio Press)