translated by Katy Derbyshire
During a 1960 interview, East German writer Christa Wolf was asked a curious question: Would she describe in detail what she did on September 27th? Fascinated by considering the significance of a single day over many years, Wolf began keeping a detailed diary of Sepember 27th, a practice she carried on for more than 50 years until her death in 2011. The first volume of these notes, which covered 1960 to 2000 was published to great acclaim more than a decade ago. Now translator Katy Derbyshire brings the September 27th collection up to date with One Day a Year, 2001 – 2011 – a collection of Worlf’s notes from the last decade of her life.
The book is both a personal record and a unique document of our times. With her characteristic precision and transparency, Wolf examines the interplay of the private, subjective and major contemporary events. She writes about Germany after 9/11, about her work on her last great book City of Angels, and also about her exhausting confrontation with old age. One Day a Year is a compelling glimpse into the life of one of the world’s greatest writers.
German original published by Suhrkamp, Berlin, under the title Ein Tag im neuen Jahrhundert.