Ghosts have made an unexpected reappearance in German literature since 1989. Catherine Smale reads this as symptomatic of writers' attempts to renegotiate their personal and collective identity in the wake of German reunification. Focusing on two major authors from the former GDR, Christa Wolf and Irina Liebmann, Smale examines the ways in which their work adopts notions of haunting in its creative engagement with the double legacy of Socialism and National Socialism. The ghost has long been regarded as a vehicle for making manifest taboo or unauthorized memories. However, Smale goes further, demonstrating how the human subject is destabilized by the return of the phantom and is itself rendered insecure and spectral. Drawing on a wide range of theoretical reference, from the psychoanalytic concept of intergenerational phantoms to Derridean hauntology, Smale's study highlights the particular challenge which Wolf and Liebmann pose to the familiar understanding of how German writers have confronted their country's troublesome past.Catherine Smale is Lecturer in German at King's College London.