A bestseller in Germany, this sharp-witted first novel features a young, female Berlin film student and her complex entanglements with feminism, radical political theory, and love—an up-to-date comedy of manners with a European twist. Constance Wechselburger is only 27, but she's already under pressure from her parents to marry her live-in doctor boyfriend, Albert, and start having babies. But Constance, a graduate film student and self-declared independent woman, would rather work on the screenplay for her senior film project (a film that will poignantly integrate the end of a love affair with such issues as Chronic Consumerism, Progressive Consciousness-Raising, Liberation Struggle from Habitual Prostitution, Bourgeois Institutions, the Arms Race, Feminism, and so on) and fantasize about Gottfried Schachtschnabel (a Marxist film professor who resembles a cute baby seal) than settle into a bourgeois, enslaving relationship with stingy Albert. Constance kicks Albert out of her apartment only to discover that life rarely conforms to theoretical expectations: while Albert easily finds a new love, Constance hangs out at Cafe Kaput, hoping to meet the perfect blend of Jean-Paul Sartre and Prince Charles, but ending up instead with unsatisfying one-night stands, a humiliating liaison with her film professor (who turns out to be married), boring trips home to Mom and Dad, a job cutting insecticide ads out of magazines, and few prospects for a successful future career. In the end, despite all her theorizing and ``stern self-criticism,'' Constance turns 28, panics, instantly puts into action the feminine wiles her mother taught her to maneuver herself back into Albert's arms—and heads for the altar to live happily ever after like all the rest of her friends. Biting, giggle-provoking satire—though no doubt more shocking on its own turf.
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