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Playing House

Motherhood, Intimacy, and Domestic Spaces in Julia Franck’s Fiction

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Alexandra M. Hill

Julia Franck, winner of the 2007 German Book Prize for Die Mittagsfrau (The Blind Side of the Heart), puts the experience of women – and mothers – at the core of her novels and short stories. This study, the first book exclusively about Franck, addresses the various roles that women play in her œuvre: lovers, daughters, mothers, and sisters. With an eye to the way these roles are influenced by and connected to domestic space, the author examines the desire for intimacy and connection that motivates Franck’s characters. Drawing on theories of both performance and performativity, the author argues that Franck creates these identities as mutable and changeable, in effect opening up women’s roles for resignification in an age of renewed feminist inquiry.