Werner Sollors received his PhD at the Freie Universität Berlin and is Henry B. and Anne M. Cabot Professor of English, Comparative Literature, and African American Studies at Harvard University. He is also Visiting Global Professor of Literature at New York University Abu Dhabi and Fellow of the American Academy of Arts & Sciences as well as Corresponding Member of the Austrian Academy of Sciences and of the Bayerische Amerika-Akademie. His past publications include the books Beyond Ethnicity: Consent and Descent in American Literature and Culture (1986), Neither Black nor White yet Both: Thematic Explorations of Interracial Literature(1997), and Ethnic Modernism (2008), as well as such essays as “W. E. B. Du Bois in Nazi Germany, 1936” (in Amerikastudien, 1999) and “Goodbye Germany” (in Transit,2004). He co-edited with Winfried Fluck, German? American? Literature? (2002), with Greil Marcus A New Literary History of America (2009), and with Julia Faisst and Alan Rosen Die Toten habe ich nicht befragt (2011), David Boder’s 1946 collection of interviews with survivors.
In April 2014 he published The Temptation of Despair: Tales of the 1940swhich draws on post-war diaries, photographs, newspaper articles, government reports, essays, works of fiction, and film and examines the experiences of defeat and liberation, homelessness and repatriation, concentration camps and denazification.