Submitted by: Matthew Levinger

One witty and powerful novel on East Germany is Christoph Hein's The Tango Player, set in Leipzig in 1968, but published in 1989. Here's from the back cover: "Christoph Hein's novel is told through the eyes of Hans-Peter Dallow, an apolitical professor of history who has just returned to civilian life after 21 months in prison. His Kafkaesque 'crime': he was the substitute piano player in a student cabaret in which seditious verses were sung ('I was only the tango player,' Dallow says, over and over). Hein's chronicle of Dallow's return constructs a telling portrait of life in Leipzig -- loveless sexual encounters, secret police harassments, professional intrigues, daily brutalities; he shows how a corrupt system perverts the most human interaction, and how lives are ruined by malicious caprice."

A delightful book on German reunification (not a novel, but a collection of essays) is Peter Schneider's The German Comedy: Scenes of Life After the Wall, which was published in 1991.

Matthew Levinger
Lewis & Clark College