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