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November 2009

Twenty Years After: Germany Then and Now

On the twentieth anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall, this month’s contributors address the events and aftermath of that transformative time in Germany. Whether witnessing the collapse of Communism firsthand or growing up in its shadow, natives and more recent arrivals explore life before and after reunification. See how Kathrin Aehnlich, Stefan Heym, Yadé Kara, Uwe Kolbe, Günter Kunert, Robert Menasse, Uwe Mengel, Thomas Pletzinger, and Feridun Zaimoglu produce a nuanced portrait of a country coming to terms with its history. We also salute Herta Müller’s Nobel with an extract from her new novel Atemschaukel. And we hope you’ll join us in celebrating the publication of our new print anthology, The Wall in My Head: Words and Images from the Fall of the Iron Curtain. We thank for its generous support for this issue.

State of Siege
Wherever to go and whatever from can always be said for certain: because it's Sunday and three cars in front of the house hour after hour Marx Engels Lenin Stalin in the back seat ad usum delphini…
Translated from German
One of Our Most Reliable Men
By Stefan Heym
Where did they all go this time?Last Friday, that’s right, Friday afternoon, it suddenly got quiet like this. There’s always some kind of noise around here—footsteps, somebody coughing out…
Translated from German by Gerald Chapple & Tracey Fortune Yanqui
To Awaken with Her
To awaken with her, this dream to begin days, days full and ripe whose mornings already pour gold just like this one, this, on which I dream, and say to the gold in my window, I finally understand you,…
Translated from German
Selam Berlin
By Yadé Kara
Hi. My name is Hasan Kazan. In Berlin some people call me Hansi though my parents gave me the name Hasan Selim Khan. Oh yeah, my parents . . .They left Istanbul years ago and moved to West Berlin, the…
Translated from German by Tim Mohr
The Knowledge Holder Doesn’t Choke on Cleverness
By Feridun Zaimoglu
Feridun Zaimoğlu’s Koppstoff: Kanaka Sprak vom Rande der Gesellschaft (1998) presents the fictionalized voices of twenty-six women of Turkish heritage living in Germany. “Koppstoff,”…
Translated from German by Kristin Dickinson, Robin Ellis & Priscilla Layne