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This monograph explores how seven prominent German and Austrian novelists of the twentieth century--Franz Kafka, Thomas Mann, Anna Seghers, Uwe Johnson, Ingeborg Bachmann, Wolfgang Hilbig, and Marlene Steeruwitz--conveyed their literary figures'' time spent waiting. By presenting states of waiting as emblematic of human existence in the turbulent twentieth century, these writers criticized hierarchical power structures in various historical contexts. Killing Time presents fresh readings of seven German-language novels, while providing insights into how and why German and Austrian writers repeatedly turned to the waiting motif to expose the injustices inherent in interpersonal, political, and social hierarchies. In investigating the treatment of waiting in literary texts, William reexamines how prominent philosophers of metaphor and time influenced German and Austrian writers of the past century. This study is underpinned in part by the work of cultural and social theorists who have emphasized how the liminal status of the subjugated within social hierarchies ensures that they are kept perpetually waiting.