This volume brings together prose from three decades of writing by Verena Stefan, one of the most influential contemporary feminist writers in the world.
The original 1975 German publication of Shedding-a novella that narrates the radical transformation of a young woman against the backdrop of the early 1970s women's, civil rights, and health care movements-created such a stir that the work has been hailed as "the feminist equivalent to Mao's little red book." To date, over 300,000 copies of Shedding have been sold in Germany. Included here is the first English translation of Literally Dreaming, a delightful collection of eight stories written in the 1980s, drawing a portrait of life as the narrator of Shedding may have envisioned it-women living together in natural and rural settings, independent of men. Stefan has written for this volume a new essay, "Euphoria and Cacophony," which traces the extraordinary reception-and backlash-that greeted Shedding in the 1970s, and the effect on her both as a writer and as a symbol of the German women's movement.
In resonant prose, and with a refreshing honesty, Stefan speaks to the universality of women's lives, a concept popular in the 1970s and 1980s, and ripe for re-discussion now in the 1990s. Stefan was a pioneer in "experimental writing" before the phrase was coined, and her writing about women's lives is as immediate today as when it first exploded on the German literary scene.