(German, 1932– )
Figes' fiction is ambitious and original, tending to be built around impressions and fragmented observations rather than realistic plots. She has a strong interest in form and her prose is poetic, detailed, and minutely observed. Begin with Ghosts (1988), a meditative novel structured around four seasons of a year. Intense memories are interspersed with the thin reality of the present as the anonymous narrator looks back over her life and resolves her relationships with the people around her. Move on to The Knot (1996), which centres on Anna, following her from birth and considering her developing relationship with the world and with language through a series of isolated moments. Figes is also the author of the highly successful feminist study, Patriarchal Attitudes (1970), and of a number of critical works.
Christa Wolf, Virginia Woolf, Franz Kafka SR