Stasiland, True Stories from Behind the Berlin Wall

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Stasiland tells true stories of people who heroically resisted the communist dictatorship of East Germany, and of people who worked for its secret police, the Stasi. Internationally hailed as a classic, it is ‘fascinating, entertaining, hilarious, horrifying and very important’ (Tom Hanks) and ‘a heartbreaking, beautifully written book.’ (Claire Tomalin). East Germany was one of the most intrusive surveillance states of all time. One in 7 people spied on their friends, family and colleagues. In ‘the most humane and sensitive way’ (J.M. Coetzee) Funder tells the true stories of four people who had the extraordinary courage to refuse to collaborate with the Stasi, and the price they paid. She meets Miriam Weber, who was imprisoned at 16 after scaling the Berlin Wall. She drinks with the legendary “Mik Jegger” of the Eastern Bloc who was ‘disappeared’. And she finds former Stasi men who defend their regime long past its demise, and yearn for the second coming of Communism. Stasiland won the Samuel Johnson Prize for best non-fiction published in English in 2004. It was a finalist for the Guardian First Book Award, the W.H. Heinemann Award, the Index Freedom of Expression Awards, The Age Book of the Year Awards, the Queensland Premier’s Literary Award and the Adelaide Festival Awards for Literature (Innovation in Writing). It is read in schools and universities in many countries, and has been adapted for CD and the stage by The National Theatre, London.

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