New York: Farrar, Strauss and Giroux, 1980. Herb Johnson (book design). Trade Paperback. New. 14 x 21.5 cm. 407 pp. Item #14661
"What is past is not dead; it is not even past. We cut ourselves off from it; we pretend to be strangers." Thus begins Christa Wolf's Patterns of Childhood, an account of the author's years growing up in Nazi Germany, as seen through the prism of a brief trip in 1971 back to her native town, accompanied by her husband, her brother, and her daughter, Lenka, who inevitably asks certain unavoidable, probing questions about the past. After the trip, Wolf returns home to write about the experience, about her childhood (adopting the role of an external narrator), and about the difficulties of writing her story with any sort of objectivity or clarity. Patterns of Childhood is no sentimental journey; it is a plea to remember and to learn from the past.
About the author
Christa Wolf (1929–2011) was one of the most celebrated German writers of the twentieth century. Wolf was a central figure in East German literature and politics, and is the author of many books, including the novels The Quest for Christa T., Patterns of Childhood, and Cassandra.