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‘Already hailed as a Cold War classic.’ Boyd Tonkin, Independent Books of the Year
‘Utterly absorbing, funny and humane. A romp through a twisted century in the heart of Europe.’ Anna Funder, author of Stasiland
International bestseller and Winner of the German Book Prize
A sweeping story of one family over four generations in East Germany: the intertwining of love, life and politics under the GDR regime.
Already hailed as a Cold War classic.
An ingenious examination of ordinary life in the GDR.
Ruge's award-winning debut novel charts half a century of East German history through the story of appartchik Wilhelm Powileit. This family saga captures in rich detail the realities of daily life in the German Democratic Republic, and evokes a melancholy sense of houses, countries, political systems and people falling apart.
Utterly absorbing, funny and humane. A romp through a twisted century in the heart of Europe.
Eugen Ruge's wonderful debut novel follows four generations of an East German family from 1952 to 2001 ... From start to finish, Ruge keeps the pages turning. His gift is to mesh the personal with the political, in an epic tale that alternately delights and instructs. It is not often that fiction of this quality comes along.
'A pulsing, vibrant, thrillingly alive work ... The scene of Alexander Umnitzer's final meeting with his father, Kurt, a once proud and pedantic historian who has lost much of his memory and power of speech, has a brutal honesty and an unsparing humor reminiscent of the best work of Jonathan Franzen ... the lingering sensation on finishing In Times of Fading Light is one not of despair but rather of triumph. You can see that from the ruins of the former Eastern bloc something has emerged with the power to survive and outlast the world from which it came: the art represented by Ruge's book, which has torn down the wall between Russian epic and the Great American Novel.'