“Wolf’s ability to create layers of meaning in a peripatetic structure across three, sometimes four, different time periods is astounding . . . Damion Searls has done a knockout job here. The prose is lovely but invisible in the reading, which is exactly what it should be.”—Sarah Gerard, Three Percent “[Wolf's] quest for personal integrity within a flawed system, and the honesty of her prose, cannot help but impress.”—The Economist “Engrossing . . . the book aptly captures Wolf’s tortured state of mind at a critical juncture — the moment she is forced to ponder her complicity, albeit largely harmless, with a criminal regime and the collapse of everything she once believed in.” —Joshua Hammer, The New York Times “A moving melancholic remembrance by writer who—one final time—attempts to make sense of an historical and personal past, for herself and for her readers . . . In Searls’s professional hands, City of Angels is a fine valedictory.”—Kevin Nolan, The Rumpus “Explaining without accusing, City of Angels is a profound book, even a heroic one.”—Todd Gitlin, The New Republic “Searls’s excellent translation effectively conveys Wolf’s wordplay.”—The New Yorker “Finishing [Christa Wolf’s books], the reader is covered by a sense of completeness, of having been taken on a journey in the company of a seer who has stared, with attention, mercy, and courage, into the world’s heart.” —Mary Gordon, The New York Times Book Review “[A] fascinating book.”—Kirkus Reviews “Defying superlatives and superbly translated . . . In her final novel, Wolf . . . outdid herself.”—Booklist (starred review) “There’s an odd fascination in watching Wolf navigate depression, guilt, anger, and Los Angeles . . . It’s worth it to see Wolf grappling with a past that, far from being dead, is live—like ammunition.”— Publishers Weekly
Christa Wolf (1921–2011) was one of the most celebrated German writers of the postwar era. A central figure in East German literature and politics, she was arguably the foremost German-German writer, awarded major literature prizes in East, West, and reunified Germany. Her wide-ranging work—nonfiction, fiction, and hybrids of the two—is marked throughout by rigorous self-examination, political engagement, and committed feminism. Her most important reexaminations of the cultural past and personal memory include Cassandra, a crucial text for Western feminists and a secret social critique for her readers in the East; Patterns of Childhood, a groundbreaking reflection on growing up in Nazi Germany; and City of Angels, a sequel of sorts to Patterns of Childhood that takes place after the fall of the Berlin Wall.