Author: Carol Kloeppel
Title: Dear Germany. Eine Amerikanerin in Deutschland. [Dear Germany. An American Woman in Germany.] Time: 1990s, 2000s
Destination: Germany (some USA)
Length: about 15 years
Type: expat stay
[Note: this book was apparently written in English but published only in German, with no English edition available yet.]
The story: CK is an American journalist who gets a job working for a German news guy called Peter Kloeppel, only to eventually return home with him. Home to Germany. They settle down in Cologne, they marry and have a daughter. Peter goes on to become one of Germany’s best-known anchormen, and CK works as a journalist. Then she writes this book about her life in Germany. A cheerful book. An insightful book. At least that’s what you would think.
please, no irony
There are some cheerful moments, and even some glimpses of insight. But sadly, most of the book is rather dull. It basically reads like a list of complaints. Don’t get me wrong, a wholehearted act of complaining can be interesting (or even hilarious), but the way CK does it seems just boring and narrow-minded. During her contemplations of German cultural phenomena (like nudism, recycling regulations or the carnival), she digs deep down into her conservative soul, failing to come up with anything resembling self-irony. Which is exactly what would have saved her book. Self-irony.
Carol Kloeppel feeling strange?
Read this if you have read everything else there is to read about Germany. Or if you want to get a notion of what it might feel like to live in a place for many years and still feel strange. It’s not all bad. There are cheerful moments, and there are some insights. Like rescue boats in an ocean of boredom.