Last night I caved and bought a copy of Hans Fallada’s Alone in Berlin (in the US it’s called Every Man Dies Alone), which has been taunting me for a while now. A little research reveals that Hans Fallada was a basket case, a drunk and a morphine addict who did time in a Nazi asylum. He had also killed a friend in a duel (which brings to mind both Pushkin and Caravaggio). He wrote this book in 1947. It’s about everyday resistance to Nazism by ordinary Germans, a theme we hear far too little about.
Now that even Roberto Bolaño’s laundry lists have been published to wild acclaim, it looks like Hans Fallada is the new forgotten master on the block. Read him before your mother has to for her book club.