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Stasiland: Stories From Behind The Berlin Wall by Anna Funder

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WINNER OF THE SAMUEL JOHNSON PRIZE FOR NON-FICTION 'A heartbreaking, beautifully written book. A classic for sure' Claire Tomalin, Guardian Extraordinary true stories of those who lived in East Germany. Travel through the remains of East Germany with Anna Funder as she meets the people who lived in the GDR before the fall of the wall. There is Miriam, condemned as an enemy of the state at sixteen. She hears the heartbreaking story of Frau Paul, who was separated from her young baby by the Berlin Wall. And she gets drunk with the legendary 'Mik Jegger' of the East, a man once declared by the authorities - to his face - to no longer exist. Then she meets the Stasi themselves - men and women who spied on their families and friends - people who, despite everything, are still loyal to the vanished regime and who long for the return of Communism. Stasiland is a gripping portrait of the horror and the absurdities of state oppression. In a world of total surveillance, its celebration of resilience and resistance is as potent as ever. 'A brilliant and necessary book about oppression and history... Here is someone who knows how to tell the truth' Rachel Cusk 'Superb... Funder skillfully deploys fictional techniques to make the material jump off the page... Vividly conveyed [with] flashes of humour too' Independent on Sunday

A stylish reissue of the bestselling contemporary classic, winner of the 2004 Samuel Johnson Prize.

About the Author
Anna Funder was born in Melbourne in 1966. She has worked as an international lawyer and a radio and television producer. In 1997 she was writer-in-residence at the Australia Centre in Potsdam. She lives in Sydney with her husband and family.

These rigorously researched, tenderly told stories of life inside East Germany won the Samuel Johnson prize a decade ago... Funder illuminates her subjects with humanity... remarkable investigative journalism -- Arifa Akbar * Independent *
Anna Funder's Stasiland demonstrates that great, original reporting is still possible. She found her subject in East Germany, went for it bravely and delivers the goods in a heartbreaking, beautifully written book. A classic for sure -- Claire Tomalin * Guardian *
A brilliant and necessary book about oppression and history ... Here is someone who knows how to tell the truth -- Rachel Cusk * Evening Standard *
Superb... Funder skilfully deploys fictional techniques to make the material jump off the page: crafted scenes with their own story-arcs, naturalistic dialogue, fully-realised characters with their own plotlines... Vividly conveyed [with] flashes of humour too -- Brandon Robshaw * Independent on Sunday ***** *
A journey into the bizarre, scary, secret history of the former East Germany that is both relevant and riveting -- Anthony Sattin * Sunday Times *
In Stasiland, her first book, [Funder] spiritedly plunges herself into "this land gone wrong" and attempts to understand a regime like the German Democratic Republic through the stories of ordinary men and women, "not just the activists or the famous writers". The result is a terrific act of life-giving to a people - 17 million of them - who have hitherto lacked not just a voice but an audience -- Nicholas Shakespeare * Telegraph *
Written with rare literary flair. I can think of no better introduction to the brutal reality of East German repression * Sunday Telegraph *
Funder is a superb interviewer ... she truly excels in the rendering of her sessions with former Stasi employees.This foreign perspective adds a unique dimension to Stasiland. Funder seems to be asking all the questions East and West Germans should be asking themselves. In the book's stunning opening, she describes herself being hungover in Berlin and bumping into things on the street: "Tomorrow bruises will develop on my skin, like a picture from a negative." It is a perfect description of the astonishing effect Stasiland has on the reader: a slow-motion understanding of decades of human pain and cruelty -- Elena Lappin * Sunday Times *
The best account of the strange, secretive place on the other side of the wall -- William Leith * Evening Standard *
These are haunting accounts of an Orwellian time through which no one lived through without paying a high personal price -- Alastair Mabbott * Herald *
These encounters with survivors are harrowing and, until this book, almost forgotten -- Fiona Wilson * The Times *
Funder skilfully deploys fictional techniques to make the material jump off the page: naturalistic dialogue, fully-realised characters with their own plotlines. It conveys a grim atmosphere - but there are flashes of humour too -- Brandon Robshaw * Irish Independent *
Compelling... A fascinating book made all the more affecting by Funder's writing, making non-fiction read like a novel -- SJ Watson 'My six best books' * Daily Express *

Winner of Samuel Johnson Prize. Short-listed for Guardian First Book Award.

Book Information
ISBN 9781783787340
Author Anna Funder
Format Paperback
Page Count 304
Imprint Granta Books
Publisher Granta Books
Weight(grams) 211g
Dimensions(mm) 198mm * 129mm * 17mm


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