The Artificial Silk Girl

The Artificial Silk Girl

3.67 (1,163 ratings by Goodreads)
By (author) 

List price: US$22.01

Currently unavailable

We can notify you when this item is back in stock

Add to wishlist

AbeBooks may have this title (opens in new window).

Try AbeBooks


Before Sex and the City there was Bridget Jones. And before Bridget Jones was The Artificial Silk Girl.
In 1931, a young woman writer living in Germany was inspired by Anita Loos's Gentlemen Prefer Blondes to describe pre-war Berlin and the age of cinematic glamour through the eyes of a woman. The resulting novel, The Artificial Silk Girl, became an acclaimed bestseller and a masterwork of German literature, in the tradition of Christopher Isherwood's Berlin Stories and Bertolt Brecht's Three Penny Opera. Like Isherwood and Brecht, Keun revealed the dark underside of Berlin's "golden twenties" with empathy and honesty. Unfortunately, a Nazi censorship board banned Keun's work in 1933 and destroyed all existing copies of The Artificial Silk Girl. Only one English translation was published, in Great Britain, before the book disappeared in the chaos of the ensuing war. Today, more than seven decades later, the story of this quintessential "material girl" remains as relevant as ever, as an accessible new translation brings this lost classic to light once more. Other Press is pleased to announce the republication of The Artificial Silk Girl, elegantly translated by noted Germanist Kathie von Ankum, and with a new introduction by Harvard professor Maria Tatar.
show more

Out of ideas for the holidays?

Visit our Gift Guides and find our recommendations on what to get friends and family during the holiday season. Shop now .

Product details

  • Hardback | 194 pages
  • 135.1 x 196.1 x 19.8mm | 349.27g
  • New York, United States
  • English
  • 1892746816
  • 9781892746818
  • 825,070

Review quote

" - Daily Essentials" 2002
The Artificial Silk Girl
Monday, 7/29/2002
A young woman in pre-war Berlin dreams of becoming a star, but after a promising start, slowly slides into destitution. "The Artificial Silk Girl" follows Doris into the underbelly of a city that had once seemed all glamour and promise. Originally written in 1931 by 22-year-old German writer, Irmgard Keun, The Artificial Silk Girl became an instant best-seller. Just a year later it was banned by the Nazis, and all copies were destroyed. Kathie von Ankum's English translation will bring this masterwork to the foreground once more, giving a new generation the chance to discover Keun for themselves.
"The Artificial Silk Girl" by Irmgard Keun (translated by Kathie von Ankum), $22, at booksellers nationwide.
"Kirkus" 2002
The Artificial Silk Girl
July 1, 2002
A particularly vivid, gritty new English translation of a 1932 novel set in Berlin between the world war
show more

About Keun Irmgard

Irmgard Keun

Irmgard Keun was born in Berlin in 1905. She published her first novel, GilgióA Girl Just Like Us, in 1931. Her second novel, The Artificial Silk Girl, instantly became a bestseller. After the war, she resumed writing under the name of Charlotte Tralow, enjoying only modest success until her early works were rediscovered and reissued in the late 1970s. She died in 1982 in Cologne.
show more

Rating details

1,163 ratings
3.67 out of 5 stars
5 22% (261)
4 38% (438)
3 28% (327)
2 8% (97)
1 3% (40)
Book ratings by Goodreads
Goodreads is the world's largest site for readers with over 50 million reviews. We're featuring millions of their reader ratings on our book pages to help you find your new favourite book. Close X