The fall of the Berlin Wall and the end of the Cold War have been widely regarded as events in a momentous historical caesura, ushering in a decade of optimism about cosmopolitanism and a new world order. Some immigrant intellectuals have noted, however, that new barriers were erected in Germany just as the old one came down. This article reviews German unification from the perspective of the Turkish German writers Emine Sevgi Özdamar and Zafer Şenocak, with a particular focus on their representations of the Wall as a threshold, rather than a barrier, and of the city's unstable foundations on the sandy Brandenburg earth. In Özdamar's Strange Stars Stare toward Earth (2003) and Şenocak's Perilous Kinship (1998), Littler considers depictions of Berlin from a materialist, Deleuzian perspective, not simply as backdrop but as dynamic milieu. The event, in the sense of a radical opening to an unpredictable future, seems to have been the Wall itself rather than its demolition. From Özdamar's protagonist's charmed crossings of the Wall in the 1970s to Şenocak's view of Berlin as a permanent building site in the 1990s, Littler examines how their writings cut across the old political structure of East and West.

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