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In his long-awaited new novel, renowned German author Ingo Schulze provides a rich and nuanced panorama of a world in transition.
East Germany, January 1990. Enrico Türmer–man of the theater, aspiring novelist–has turned his back on the art world and joined a startup newspaper. Before long, the former aesthete and rebel becomes obsessed with personal gain, and in a series of letters to his sister, a friend, and a would-be lover, Enrico vividly muses on his capitalist ventures and latent worldly ambitions. As Schulze peels away the layers of Enrico’s previous existence, his antihero’s reinvention comes to embody all the questionable aspects not only of life in the old Germany, but of life in the Germany just taking form.
“Ingo Schulze is an epic storyteller!” —Günter Grass
“Rumors, protests, paranoia, disbelief, the thrill of first seeing West German road signs—they’re all on the page with you-are-there clarity.”
“Powerful. . . . Schulze is determined to capture the energy—and mayhem—of his country’s historic transformation. . . . With engaging irony, [he asks] both what is gained and what is lost in such cultural transformations.”
—The Review of Contemporary Fiction
“An admirable work. . . . The reader sits open-mouthed, surprised, and delighted before this miracle of romantic poetry, philosophy of money, and epic strength.”
—Süddeutsche Zeitung (Munich)
“Witty and elaborate.”
—The New Yorker
“A unique view of the German reunification.”
—Sacramento Book Review
“[Schulze’s] latest book may well be Germany’s best reunification novel to date. . . . Against an uncertain East German landscape of ambiguous opportunities—depicted with considerable sensitivity but little Ostalgie—Schulze expertly pulls his readers in opposite directions. . . . Exhilarating and perceptive.”
—Booklist (starred review)
“Beguiling. . . . Schulze captures something ephemeral but critical about how the idealism that brought down the Wall also brought down itself.”
“Hugely ambitious. . . . Anyone who has spent time in a political movement, or in a start-up business, will recognize the comedy of egos with its cast of con men, hangers-on and the occasional genuine talent.”
—Kirkus (starred review)