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I Have No Regrets: Diaries, 1955–1963 (The Seagull Library of German Literature) (Paperback)
With an upbeat tempo and amusing tone, I Have No Regrets contains detailed accounts of the author’s love affairs, daily life, writing, and reflections. Like the heroines in her stories, Reimann was impetuous and outspoken, addressing issues and sensibilities otherwise repressed in the era of the German Democratic Republic. She followed the state’s call for artists to leave their ivory towers and engage with the people, moving to the new town of Hoyerswerda to work part-time at a nearby industrial plant and run writing classes for the workers. Her diaries and letters provide a fascinating parallel to her fictional writing. By turns shocking, passionate, unflinching, and bitter—but above all life-affirming—they offer an unparalleled insight into what life was like during the first decades of the GDR.
“Her work deserves a much wider reading public outside Germany, where she remains best known for her ambiguously autobiographical final novel Franziska Linkerhand...The eight years of irregular diary entries that make up I Have No Regrets, edited in German by Angela Drescher and now translated into English by Lucy Jones, are a welcome introduction to Reimann’s work.”
— Times Literary Supplement
“Reimann left behind a string of novels and several years’ worth of diaries that shed vivid light on life in East Germany from the 1950s to the 1970s. This volume picks up her story shortly after a suicide attempt following a miscarriage.”
— Charlie Connelly