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"Female Sobriety": Feminism, Motherhood, and the Works of Julia Franck

Alexandra Merley Hill
Women in German Yearbook
Vol. 24 (2008), pp. 209-228
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/20688300
Page Count: 20
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"Female Sobriety": Feminism, Motherhood, and the Works of Julia Franck
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Abstract

Following the renewed interest in the role of motherhood in Germany, a wave of articles and books has recently reassessed the women's movement of the 1970s. The author Julia Franck, winner of the 2007 German Book Prize, is an active participant in these discussions, not only in speeches and essays but also in her works of fiction. In telling the story of an unwilling mother, her latest novel, Die Mittagsfrau (Lady Midday, 2007), both participates in and fundamentally undermines the terms of the motherhood debates. In this essay I contextualize Franck's work within popular discourse around feminism, focusing in particular on Franck's own term "female sobriety," which she uses to characterize her style of writing and that of many female colleagues. Based on Silvia Bovenschen's theory of a feminine aesthetic, "female sobriety" is just one facet of Franck's engagement with women's issues and feminist theory.

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