Guide Books

The following surveys of German-language literature and culture are recommended for further reading:

Stephen Beller, A Concise History of Austria (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2007). Not a literary study but a useful short history of Austria.
Nicholas Boyle, German Literature: A Very Short Introduction (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2008). Covers 18th century to the present.
Camden House History of German Literature, 10 vols (Rochester, NY: Camden House, 2001-). Detailed, multi-volume reference work.
Jo Catling (ed.), A History of Women's Writing in Germany, Austria and Switzerland (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2000). Covers middle ages to the present.
Sarah Colvin (ed.), The Routledge Handbook of German Politics & Culture (London and New York: Routledge, 2014). Covers the 21st century.
Friederike Eigler and Susanne Kord (eds.), The Feminist Encyclopedia of German Literature (Westport, London: Greenwood Press, 1997). Standard work on women writers.
Mary Fulbrook, A Concise History of Germany, 2nd edition (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2004). Not a literary study but a useful short history of Germany. 
Henry & Mary Garland, The Oxford Companion to German Literature (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1997). Standard reference work: encyclopaedic format.
Maik Hamburger and Simon Williams, A History of German Theatre (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2008). Covers late middle ages to the present day.
Katrin Kohl and Ritchie Robertson (eds.), A History of Austrian Literature 1918-2000 (Rochester, NY: Camden House, 2006). Covers a fascinating period of literary history.
Eva Kolinsky and Wilfried van der Will (eds.), The Cambridge Companion to Modern German Culture (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1999). Covers 19th century to the present.
Michael Minden, Modern German Literature (Cambridge: Polity, 2011). Covers 1750 to the present, also takes popular literature into account.
Malcolm Pasley (ed.), Germany: A Companion to German Studies, 2nd edition (London and New York: Methuen, 1982). Out of print but still superb.
T. J. Reed, The Classical Centre: Goethe and Weimar 1775-1832 (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1986). Covers the classical age of German literature.
Judith Ryan, The Cambridge Introduction to German Poetry (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2012). Includes Luther, Goethe, Hölderlin, Rilke and Celan.
Eda Sagarra & Peter Skrine, A Companion to German Literature: From 1500 to the Present (Oxford: Wiley-Blackwell, 1999). Covers early modern period to the present. Good on women writers.
Nicholas Saul (ed.), Philosophy and German Literature, 1700-1990 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2002). Intellectual and literary history, clear and accessible.
Helmut Walser Smith (ed.), The Oxford Handbook of Modern German History (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2011). Covers history and culture from 1740 to the present day.
Helen Watanabe-O’Kelly (ed.), The Cambridge History of German Literature (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1997). Covers 750-1990. The current standard overview of the field.
Peter Watson, The German Genius: Europe’s Third Renaissance, the Second Scientific Revolution, and the Twentieth Century (London: Simon & Schuster, 2010). Covers 1750 to the present day.
David E. Wellbery (ed.), A New History of German Literature (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2004) Covers 744-2001 by means of brief, separate articles.