The narrator, a female writer who lives in East Germany and who attempts to write a biography of her late friend, Christa T. The narrator is in her late thirties. She was very close to her friend, and, upon the latter’s death, she believes that she must do something so that her memory will not be lost. She has a number of the friend’s papers, letters, and notes, as well as her own and others’ memories. As a writer, however, she is well aware of the distortions that writing can create and that her memories ultimately are subjective and may falsify the truth of Christa T.’s life.
Christa T., a woman who attempts to realize her sense of individual identity within the context of a socialist society. She dies of leukemia at the age of thirty-five. She was born in a small village in the eastern part of Germany and spent her adolescent years during the period of World War II. The narrator first met Christa when she was a sixteen-year-old girl at the Hermann Goering School in the town of Friedeberg. Early in life, Christa was an individualist and wanted to become a writer. After the end of the war, she chose to live in the newly created German Democratic Republic and became an idealistic socialist, committed to the creation of a just and humane society. In the course of her life, however, she came to realize that human nature is not so easily changed, and she often struggled with the problem of...
(The entire section is 480 words.)