Shelfari edited the description of Group Portrait with Lady Friday, July 31, 2009.
Novel by Heinrich Boll, published in German in 1971 as Gruppenbild mit Dame. A sweeping portrayal of German life from World War I until the early 1970s, the novel was cited by the Nobel Prize committee when it awarded Boll the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1972. The story's anonymous narrator gradually reveals the life--past and present--of Leni Pfeiffer, a war widow who, with her neighbors, is fighting the demolition of the Cologne apartment building in which they reside. Leni and her illegitimate son Lev become the nexus of Cologne's counterculture; they spurn the prevailing work ethic and assail the dehumanization of life under capitalism. In a larger sense, the work attempts both a reconciliation with the past and a condemnation of the pursuit of affluence in present-day Germany. -- The Merriam-Webster Encyclopedia of Literature