German author Hans Fallada died in 1947, the year his devastating novel Nightmare in Berlin was released. The German novel follows the story of a married couple trying to find their war in a desolate and destroyed post-war Germany and is to be published in English for the first time.
Hans Fallada had been largely forgotten for many years, partly due to our thoughts of post-war Germany, and a time we would like to forget. Then, in 2010 Alone in Berlin was released in English and became the hot book of the summer, selling 300,000 copies, and now it’s been confirmed that Nightmare in Berlin is to follow.
The largely autobiographical novel begins on the day the war ends, and was released in German as Der Alpdruck ‘The Nightmare’ in 1947, the year of Fallada’s death. Both Alone in Berlin and Nightmare in Berlin are the only post-war novels to be written by the author, and the latter tells of a man, Dr Doll and his wife who are taking shelter in the German countryside haunted by the things they saw at the end of the war and the Russian invasion. Eventually they come back to Berlin where they attempt to resume their lives, but eventually succumb to morphine addiction.
Scribe who will translate and publish the novel say the book is heavily autobiographical with the author’s turbulent life a mirror for the imploding society he documented.
While during the last century there wasn’t much interest in how Germans managed after the draw, time has softened the relationship, making it the perfect time to read this in English. It certainly sounds fascinating and is likely to follow Alone in Berlin as a British bestseller.