Brigitte Kronauer's work prompted a leading German literary critic to call her 'the greatest German [female] fiction writer of our time'. Yet this uniquely sophisticated and appealing European literary voice - 'so austere and intelligent, so northern German and reticent, so complex and unpretentious, so seductive and misleading' - has until now remained virtually unknown in the English-speaking world. Fortunately, her multi-layered novels lend themselves beautifully to the selective approach employed in this anthology, each individual passage balancing and interpreting the others. These selections also illustrate Kronauer's literary development from an associative, highly structured early prose to the more chronologically narrated novels that the author herself sees not as a return to traditional storytelling but rather as a step in a new direction. The excerpts and stories in "Constructs of Desire" are annotated and preceded by critical introductions. They are supplemented by Kronauer's irreverent and ironic critical essays, her fictional and non-fictional reflections on the question 'What is Literature?'.
The anthology concludes with an interview in which Kronauer considers the psychology of writing, the relationship of literature and reality, and the creation of her own imaginative literary universe.