Franz Fühmann spent his childhood in the congested Sudetenland region of Czechoslovakia and served in the Wehrmacht signal corps from 1941 to 45. Embracing socialism in a Soviet POW camp, he cast in his lot with the German Democratic Republic. Gradually, however, he became an outspoken critic of the regime and the unofficial patriarch of a new dissident literature, revered in both Germanies. A magician of many literary forms, his idiosyncratic oeuvre has lost none of its urgency and appeal.
Translated by Isabel Fargo Cole
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