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Special Collection

Reading between the Bloodlines: Reflections on the German-Language Family Story

Collection launched: 05 Dec 2017
The great literary critic Marcel Reich-Ranicki summarized the state of the German family novel in a speech he delivered in 2005: ‘Der noch unlängst von manchen Kritikern verspottete Familien- und Generationenroman ist wieder modern […] Die alte Familiensaga, einst von Thomas Mann aus dem neunzehnten Jahrhundert ins zwanzigste hinübergerettet und kräftig modernisiert, lebt auch noch im einundzwanzigsten Jahrhundert, in Deutschland zumal und in Österreich’. Indeed, since 2005, half of the German Book Prize winners have been authors of family novels, and the renewed enthusiasm for the genre evidences popular desires to engage in conversations about families and the revelatory potential of the memories that they possess. German-language family stories and their authors are at the centre of this special edition, a collection of representative essays and interviews that consider the Familienroman as a genre, the themes and issues that these novels present, and the public and academic interest in writing and reading stories about families.
Editor: Anna C. Souchuk (DePaul University); Co-Editor: Julia Gruber (Tennessee Technological University).