Christine Brückner (10 December 1921 Schmillinghausen, Bad Arolsen, Free State of Waldeck-Pyrmont – 21 December 1996 Kassel) was a German writer.
Christine Brückner was born in Schmillinghausen near Arolsen in the Free State of Waldeck-Pyrmont, the daughter of the pastor Carl Emde and his wife Clotilde. She lived there until 1934 when she moved to Kassel. She attended high school in Arolsen and Kassel, completing her Abitur (high-school graduation) in 1941. During the war years, she was drafted for service in the General Command in Kassel, and then as a bookkeeper in an aircraft factory in Halle. After the war, she received a diploma as librarian in Stuttgart. She studied economics, literature, art history and psychology in Marburg, where for two semesters she was director of the Mensa Academica. During that time, she wrote articles for the magazine Frauenwelt (Women's World) in Nuremberg. From 1948 to 1958, she was married to the industrial designer Werner Brückner (1920–1977). In 1960 she returned to Kassel, where, from 1967, she lived with her second husband and fellow writer Otto Heinrich Kühner (1921–1996), with whom she collaborated on several works.
From 1980 to 1984, she was Vice-President of the German PEN Center. She is an honorary citizen of the city of Kassel. She died in 1996, ten weeks after her husband. The couple is buried in Schmillinghausen. In 1984, they established the Brückner-Kühner Foundation, which since 1985 has awarded the Kassel Literary Prize for "grotesque and comic work" at a high artistic level. The Foundation, now located in the house in which Christine Brückner and her husband lived, functions today as a center for comic literature and as a small museum that can be visited by appointment.
Christine Brückner is one of the most successful women writers of the Federal Republic of Germany. Many of her books sold in the millions, which has led to the judgement of her writing as "popular literature" in the negative sense. But this is undeserved; she writes about fundamental human problems, especially from a woman's point of view, in an entertaining fashion, and reflecting the author's Protestant worldview.
Brückner's first novel, Before the Traces Disappear (Ehe die Spuren verwehen, Gütersloh, 1954) was a great success, allowing her to make a living as a freelance writer. The manuscript won a competition run by the publisher Bertelsmann. In its first year it sold 376 thousand copies, and has since been translated into several languages. It tells of the life crisis of a man who is involved in the accidental death of a young woman.
She then published a number of other novels, which focus mainly on issues of love, marriage and relationships from a woman's perspective, and on the possibilities for female self-realization. In 1975 appeared Manure and Stock (Ffm / Bln.), followed by its sequels, Nowhere is Poenichen (Ffm / Bln. 1977) and The Quints (Ffm / Bln. 1985 ), which formed the so-called Poenichen trilogy. At nearly 1000 pages, it tells the life story of Maximiliane Quint, born in 1918, the granddaughter of an aristocratic landowner in Pomerania. The success, especially of the first two volumes, was due to the work's engaging narrative of the history and achievements of the generation of women who had to prove themselves under the conditions of war, displacement and reconstruction. In 1977 and 1978 Manure and Stock and Nowhere is Poenichen were filmed as a mini-series for television. The main actors were Ulrike Bliefert, Arno Assmann and Edda Seippel. These contributed significantly to the popularity of the series.
The monologues Desdemona - if you had only spoken. Eleven uncensored speeches of eleven incensed women (in German, Hamburg, 1983, translated by Eleanor Bron, Virago Press, London, 1992) achieved not only wide circulation and translations into many languages, but also established her as a playwright, as they are among the most performed plays at the time. In tones from serious to cheerful, the work deals with historical and fictional female figures of Western cultural history, from Clytemnestra to Christiane von Goethe to Gudrun Ensslin. In addition to novels and stories, Brückner also published autobiographical works, plays and children's books. Ullstein has published a 20-volume collection of the author's works.
Awards and honors
- 1954 Bertelsmann Prize contest for Before the Traces Disappear
- 1982 Goethe Medal of the State of Hesse
- 1987 Honorary Citizen of the city of Kassel
- 1990 Hessian Order of Merit
- 1991 Federal Cross of Merit 1st Class
- 1996 Grand Federal Cross of Merit
Works in English
- Flight of cranes, Fromm International Pub. Corp., 1982, ISBN 978-0-88064-001-5
- Gillyflower kid: a novel, Fromm International Pub. Corp., 1982, ISBN 978-0-88064-006-0
- The time of the Leonids, Charles River Books, 1981, ISBN 978-0-89182-040-6
Stories and novels
- Ehe die Spuren verwehen, 1954 (Before the traces disappear)
- Katharina und der Zaungast, 1957 (Catherine and the onlooker)
- Ein Frühling im Tessin, 1960 (A Spring in Ticino)
- Die Zeit danach, 1961 (The aftermath)
- Bella Vista und andere Erzählungen, 1963 (Bella Vista and Other Stories)
- Letztes Jahr auf Ischia, (Last year at Ischia) Ullstein Verlag, Frankfurt/Berlin/Wien 1964 ISBN 3-548-02734-2
- Der Kokon, 1966 (The cocoon)
- Das glückliche Buch der a.p., 1970 (The Happy Book of a.p.)
- Überlebensgeschichten, 1973 (Survival Stories)
- Jauche und Levkojen, 1975 (Manure and stock)
- Die Mädchen aus meiner Klasse, 1975 (The girls in my class)
- Nirgendwo ist Poenichen, 1977 (Nowhere is Poenichen)
- Was ist schon ein Jahr. Frühe Erzählungen, 1984 (What's a year. Early Stories)
- Das eine sein, das andere lieben, 1981 (Be the one, the other love)
- Die Quints, Ullstein, 1985, ISBN 978-3-550-06397-8 (The Quints)
- Die letzte Strophe, 1989 (The last stanza)
- Früher oder später, 1994 (Sooner or later)
- Wenn du geredet hättest, Desdemona - Ungehaltene Reden ungehaltener Frauen (If you had Spoken, Desdemona - Indignant Speeches, Indignant Women) Hoffman and Campe, Hamburg 1983 ISBN 3-455-00366-4
Child and youth books
- Alexander der Kleine. Eine heitere Erzählung, (Alexander the Little One. An amusing story) 1966
- A brother for Momoko. London: The Bodley Head 1970 (dt.: Ein Bruder für Momoko, 1981)
- Wie Sommer und Winter, (As Summer and Winter) 1971
- Momoko und Chibi, (Momoko and Chibi) 1974
- Die Weltreise der Ameise, (The world tour of the ant) 1974
- Momoko ist krank, (Momoko is sick) 1979
- Mal mir ein Haus with Otto Heinrich Kühner, (Time for me a home) 1980
- Momoko und der Vogel, (Momoko and Bird) 1982
- Botschaften der Liebe in deutschen Gedichten des 20. Jahrhunderts, (Messages of love in German poems of the 20th Century) 1960.
- An mein Kind. Deutsche Gedichte des 20. Jahrhunderts, (To my child. German poems of the 20th Century) 1962
- Juist. Ein Lesebuch, (Juist. A reader) 1984
- Lesezeit. Eine persönliche Anthologie, (Reading time. A personal anthology) 1986
- About Christine Brückner. Essays, reviews, interviews, ed. Gunther v. Tietz. Second Ed Frankfurt include: Ullstein 1990th (=Ullstein book; 22 173) ISBN 3-548-22173-4
- Margarita Jacobaeus: "To read recommended." Readings of Christine Brückner Poenichen trilogy. A reception-aesthetic study. Stockholm: Almqvist and Wiksell Internat. 1995th (Stockholm Germanistic research; 51) ISBN 91-22-01671-6
- Karin Muller: "Life sometimes stays close to the literature." The archetypes in the Poenichen novels Christine Brückner. Glienicke / Berlin etc.: Galda and Wilch 2000th ISBN 3-931397-26-2
- Elvira Pachura: Poland - the lost homeland. For the problem at home Horst Bienek, Leonie Ossowski, Christa Wolf, Christine Brückner. Stuttgart: ibidem-Verlag. 2002nd ISBN 3-89821-205-X
- Pawel Zimniak: The lost time in the lost empire. Christine Brückner's family saga and Leonie Ossovsky family chronicle. Zielona Góra: Wydaw. Wyzszej szkoły pedagog. 1996th ISBN 83-86832-13-4
- Christine Brückner and Otto Heinrich Kühner. "The only workable Author Association", ed. v. Frederick W. Block. Kassel: euregio publisher 2007th ISBN 978-3-933617-31-6