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Beschreibung des Verlags
Depicting a young woman's life in Nazi Germany, a masterpiece from the author of Child of All Nations
'I cannot think of anything else that conjures up so powerfully the atmosphere of a nation turned insane' Sunday Telegraph
Nineteen-year-old Sanna just wants to drink her beer in peace, but that's difficult when Hitler has come to town and his motorcade is blocking the streets of Frankfurt. What's more, her best friend Gerti is in love with a Jewish boy, her brother writes books that have been blacklisted and her own aunt may denounce her to the authorities at any moment, as Germany teeters on the edge of the abyss. Written after she had fled the Nazi regime, Irmgard Keun's masterly novel captures the feverish hysteria and horror of the era with devastating perceptiveness and humour.
Translated by Geoff Wilkes
Published in America for the first time, suspicion and betrayal permeate social and romantic life in this finely wrought account of civilian life in 1930's Frankfurt. Though, like her narrator Sanna, Keun (The Artificial Silk Girl) had recently fled Nazi Germany when she wrote this slim volume, readers should resist conflating Keun's mature prose with the character's pitch-perfect naivet . Even while young Sanna lives in fear of innumerable faceless informants, she eats, drinks, and banters with them. Keun's achievement lies in how insidiously these mundane activities accrue over the course of a festive day. As the city prepares for a Hitler motorcade, a fog-like menace creeps in; by nightfall, however, via a series of curious asides and gestures interrupted only by the sudden, strange death of a little girl this menace has solidified into a horrifying reality. Keun reveals a continent's self-delusion in grotesque detail, describing Germany as "turning on her own axis, a great wheel dripping blood." In 1940, three years after writing this novel, Keun faked her own suicide and reentered Germany, residing there until war's end. In its deliberateness and daring, that act is consistent with and reverberates inside this powerful book.