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Accident: A Day's News
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Accident: A Day's News

3.41  ·  Rating details ·  249 Ratings  ·  16 Reviews
An East German writer, awaiting a call from the hospital where her brother is undergoing brain surgery, instead receives news of a massive nuclear accident at Chernobyl, one thousand miles away. In the space of a single day, in a potent, lyrical stream of thought, the narrator confronts both mortality and life and above all, the import of each moment lived-open, as Wolf re ...more
Paperback, 121 pages
Published May 29th 2001 by University Of Chicago Press (first published January 1st 1987)
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Mar 09, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is what I wish Clarice Lispector novels were: twisting streams of consciousness, heavily peppered with personal reflection --- but expertly guided to an open conclusion. Not that it's conclusive in any sense -- just that it's heading somewhere in the first place; just that there's a driving force. No rambling, here.

This novella amounts to a spiral of feelings, narratives, reflections, anecdotes, all centered on the concerns of technological progress. Plotwise, what little there is: over the
Apr 14, 2009 rated it really liked it
Wolf uses the Chernobyl disaster and a fictional brother's brain tumor to explore the greater concepts of human's capacity for destruction, of science and its attempt to know everything (about the brain and technology) before knowing the consequences of such knowledge, of the ridiculousness of ideological boundaries and how events like Chernobyl - which sent radiation throughout all of Europe and even into North America - can dissolve those boundaries. Wolf, who was a teenager in Germany during ...more
Pedro Alhinho
Narrativa breve ou longo [quase] monólogo, escrito em 1986, quando a nuvem de Tchernobyl pairava sobre a europa. reflexões sobre o sentido da vida, sobre a verdade da ciência, sobre a legitimação das políticas.
Nas últimas páginas o retorno ao Conrad do "Coração das Trevas", directamente citado como exemplar denúncia do mal de que o homem é capaz.
Casey (Myshkin) Buell
Dec 06, 2013 rated it really liked it
Accident: A Day's News is a strange and fascinating little novel. Our narrator (never named, though intimated to be Christa Wolf herself) waits for a call to tell her how her brother's brain surgery went, while ruminating on the recent nuclear disaster at Chernobyl. As she goes about her daily business, gardening, shopping, answering her mail, she contemplates humanity, and human responsibility. Imagining the details of her brother's surgery she juxtaposes it with the spreading nuclear crisis. T ...more
Terry Pitts
Jan 22, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
Accident takes place on a single day shortly after the Chernobyl atomic plant disaster. An East German writer (much like Christa Wolf) goes about her day. She ponders the implications of radiation drifting over Europe and alternately imagines the operation her brother is undergoing for brain cancer on the very same day. Wolf seamlessly interweaves meditations on technology, medicine, and the ordinary daily activities of life into a book that is powerful for its brevity. "We live in the flicker, ...more
May 01, 2013 rated it really liked it
To quote the author herself, when her character was describing her response to Joseph Conrad while reading Heart of Darkness: "Finally, after all this time, I once again felt that thump against my heart which I feel only when a writer speaks to me from the depths of self-experience."

This book, about one day in the life of a woman in Germany (East) at the time of the Chernobyl nuclear reactor failure, whose brother is in the hospital for brain surgery, and who is trying to figure out how to live
Mikael Kuoppala
Oct 23, 2011 rated it liked it
East German author Christa Wolf examines uncertainty, fragility and the power of information both on a global and a psychological level in a novel about a woman whose brother is nearly killed in an accident the very same day the Chernobyl nuclear accident occures. Wolf follows the woman through the course of that one day.

The narration is stream of consciousness in form, making the text somewhat heavy, but still very readable and communicative. Thankfully this deeply personal approach still allow
May 16, 2010 rated it liked it
I found the juxtaposing of the two themes of the Chernobyl tragedy and the operation of the narrator's brother interesting and allowed for musing on many themes - scientific, access of 'knowledge', impact of others, nuclear science/ medicine, humanity- etc. Cassandra had a similar multiview point that I liked. I also think it needs to be read in the context of being written at the time of the event in then East Germany-not so removed from the location. Although the impact drifted off with too ma ...more
Nov 01, 2014 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Hoe zeer ik ook mijn best doe om altijd onbevooroordeeld aan haar boeken te beginnen, meestal mislukt mijn poging en begin ik me vrij snel te ergeren. Ik vind de 'connexen' die Wolf in dit verhaal maakt ongemeen boeiend (de hersenoperatie van haar broer, de ramp in Tchernobyl op dezelfde dag, de bruggen naar WOII en naar haar eigen kleinkinderen, naar de toekomst, de gedachtes over taal en hoe ze werkt/niet werkt, ...), maar haar drammerige, dreunerige toon en de gedetailleerde beschrijving van ...more
Kara Kilgore
Jul 06, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Can't wait to read this! This author is one of the most stunning female authors of our time. Her prose is beautiful. She doesn't have to insist upon herself either & ive noticed that she steers clear of hot button reactionary words. Just honest, clear, refreshing prose completely devoid of ego. Now that, I can appreciate.

Medea was spectacular! No one could handle the re telling of that tale quite like she did. If you're looking for timeless prose instead of the flavor of the month, search n
Jan 22, 2012 rated it really liked it
Easily one of my favorite reads from last year. Wolf helped me better articulate my thoughts about the productivity of regret. While she acknowledges how larger contexts inform individual actions and reactions, she put the agency back into the hands of humanity, holding us as responsible as a collectivity of individuals who make choices. This book altered my perspective about my place in the world. In other words, I loved it.
It was a nice book but had some problems with the writtingstyle of the author,
Mar 21, 2008 rated it it was ok
incredibly depressing, maybe not a good idea to read as a teenager...
Dec 14, 2007 rated it it was ok
Concerned, elegic, gray like mold.
Because of the recent events (Fukushima) it was somewhat interesting.
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Margy Avery
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Nov 30, 2011
Mark Davess
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Jul 09, 2010
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Jan 28, 2013
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Jan 18, 2009
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Dec 28, 2014
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Dec 16, 2007
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Jan 05, 2012
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Sep 20, 2010
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Sep 14, 2013
Antonio Matos
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May 16, 2013
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Jun 07, 2015
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A citizen of East Germany and a committed socialist, Mrs. Wolf managed to keep a critical distance from the communist regime. Her best-known novels included “Der geteilte Himmel” (“Divided Heaven,” 1963), addressing the divisions of Germany, and “Kassandra” (“Cassandra,” 1983), which depicted the Trojan War.

She won awards in East Germany and West Germany for her work, including the Thomas Mann Pri
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