27 September: 1960-2011 – 60 years ago, Christa Wolf Began her Diary Project


In 1960, following an invitation from a Moscow newspaper asking to describe one day, the twenty-seventh of September, »as precisely as possible«, Christa Wolf embarked on a journey of discovery and resistance lasting forty years. She would record her thoughts, experiences, and impressions as they unfolded over the course of a single day, the same day every year, for the next four decades. In 2003, her project was published under the title One Day a Year: 1960-2000.

»a monumental diary […] one of her most important works« Der Spiegel

»an unparalleled chronicle of our time« Berliner Zeitung

Fascinated by the »significance that an average day assumes when you pay attention to how many different lives that come together in one day«, Christa Wolf continued her project into the new century; she writes about Germany in the wake of the 11th of September, 2001, about her own work, and about her exhausting battle with growing old in One Day a Year in the New Century: 2001-2011. One Day a Year is at once a personal chronicle and a unique document of the age.

»The diary can be a way of learning to watch yourself, [Christa Wolf] suggests,
instead of watching or imagining yourself being watched.
It can be a way of reaffirming contact with the self —
and then, more radically, finding within its enclosure (Julavits’s ›folded clock‹) a more idiosyncratic,
more personal way of marking and possessing time before it has its way with us.«
Parul Sehgal, New York Times Book Review

Christa Wolf began her project sixty years ago today and since then, One Day a Year has been translated into seven languages. It is a document that chronicles not only historical developments but first and foremost the life and thoughts of one of Germany’s most important authors.



Foreign editions of One Day a Year – 1960-2000:

English edition by Europa Editions, translated by Lowell A. Bangerter

Russian edition by Kabinetny Utcheny, translated by Oleg Mičkovskij

French edition by Fayard, translated by Alain Lance and Renate Lance-Otterbein

Danish edition by Aschehoug Dansk/Athene, translated by Henning Vangsgaard

Spanish edition by Galaxia Gutenberg, translated by Carmen Gauger

Italian edition by Edizioni e/o, translated by Anita Raja

Japanese edition by Dogakusha, translated by Kazuo Hosaka



Foreign editions of One Day a Year In the New Century – 2001-2011:

English edition by Seagull, translated by Katy Derbyshire

French edition by Seuil, translated by Alain Lance and Renate Lance-Otterbein

For more information please visit the author's Foreign Rights Website or contact the respective Rights Manager.

One Day a Year
Christa Wolf
One Day a Year
One Day a Year
Christa Wolf
One Day a Year