Divided Nation/s

Germany’s Partition in American Novels

Most American novels set in Germany and published after 1949 take place in West Germany and present it as a ‘pars pro toto’ for all of Germany, apparently ignoring Germany’s partition. However, just when the Wall that divided the two parts of Germany fell, Germany’s partition and its repercussions moved into the focus of a number of American novelists. Situated within the realm of Transnational American Studies, this volume presents the first comprehensive study of the different renderings of Germany’s partition, the Berlin Wall, and German reunification in American novels published before and after 1989. Covering Cold War spy and romance novels and post-Wall texts such as Jeffrey Eugenides’ ‘Middlesex’, Paul Beatty’s ‘Slumberland’, and Anna Winger’s ‘This Must Be the Place’, the volume analyzes how the novels construct the German and the American nation/s in terms of religion, sex/gender, race/ethnicity, history, exile, and home.