These stories by Otti Binswanger, the niece of the German aviator Otto Lilienthal, were written in the 1940s in New Zealand, where they were published originally in 1945. Otti Binswanger had come to New Zealand in 1939 as a refugee from Nazi Germany together with her husband Paul Binswanger, a German-Jewish scholar of Romance Languages. These stories constitute an important and highly original contribution not only to New Zealand literature, but also to the corpus of literature by exiles in the 20
century. In her stories Otti Binswanger creates an authentic, sympathetic, and at the same time critical portrait of the country and its people as she encountered them as an immigrant. They are «inside stories» with the eye of an outsider written in the clear and matter-of-fact style of the period.
The essay by Livia Käthe Wittmann (Christchurch/NZ) gives an introduction to both the stories as well as to the multi-facetted personality and life of Otti Binswanger.