The Artificial Silk Girl by Irmgard Keun

No critic rating

Waiting for minimum critic reviews

See 4 Critic Reviews



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.

About Irmgard Keun

See more books from this Author
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.
Published June 14, 2011 by Other Press. 217 pages
Genres: History, Literature & Fiction. Fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for The Artificial Silk Girl

Publishers Weekly

See more reviews from this publication

Initially a commercial success, it was soon banned by the Nazis for the racy, irreverent musings of its narrator, Doris, an office worker who decides that her best chance of improving her lot is to exercise her considerable libido as she tries to find a rich Mr. Right.

| Read Full Review of The Artificial Silk Girl


Jumping from man to man, always making sure that she gets something from them, Doris learns to guard her heart, which types of men have which types of behavior, and how to mask her ignorance about the world.

Aug 22 2011 | Read Full Review of The Artificial Silk Girl

Historical Novel Society

After falling in love with a fur coat in a cloakroom one night, she steals it and flees to Berlin.

| Read Full Review of The Artificial Silk Girl

MostlyFiction Book Reviews

AUTHOR WEBSITE: Wikipedia page on Irmgard Keun EXTRAS: Excerpt MORE ON MOSTLYFICTION: More books brought back to life: Death of the Adversary by Hans Keilson Esther’s Inheritance by Sandor Marai Translated Bibliography: Gilgi – One of Us (1931) The Artificial Silk Girl (1932;

Jun 14 2011 | Read Full Review of The Artificial Silk Girl

Reader Rating for The Artificial Silk Girl

An aggregated and normalized score based on 13 user ratings from iDreamBooks & iTunes

Rate this book!

Add Review