Wolf studied German literature at the University of Leipzig and graduated in 1953. Living in East Berlin, she began writing literary criticism as well as fiction and essays. From 1949 to 1989 she was a member of the German Socialist Party and was among those violently opposed to German reunification. Her first novel, DIVIDED HEAVEN, was published in 1963; this and most of her other works are incisive explorations of East German society as it is affected by memories of its Nazi past.
From the Publisher
Suffering severe abdominal pain, a woman is rushed to the emergency room of a decrepit urban hospital. Her soaring temperature, her deepening distress, her body's resistance to medicine all confound her doctors, who operate repeatedly.|Drifting in and out of consciousness, she endures a fever dream in which the boundaries between wakefulness, memory, and delusion blur then totally dissolve. Old friends and comforting strangers materialize at her bedside, and as they talk to her, and as the nurses poke and prod, her sense of self, of being an "I" who acts rather than a "she" who is acted upon, begins to slip away. Gurney rides through the hospital's windowless corridors become fantastic travels through the halls of hell. Remembered snatches of Goethe and of "upbuilding" Communist propaganda provide ironic running commentary on her predicament, for the scene, half real, half hallucinated, is the former East Berlin; the time, just before the fall of the Wall.