Thursday, April 14, 2022

Top 10 novels about postwar Germany

Martin Goodman has written eleven books, fiction and nonfiction. A theme common to much of his fiction is the exploration of war guilt: his first novel On Bended Knees, set in England and Berlin, examined how the effects of war are passed from one generation to the next, and was shortlisted for the Whitbread (now the Costa) First Novel Award. His latest novel J SS Bach picks up that thread and considers the themes of Music and the Holocaust.

At the Guardian Goodman tagged ten novels that "explore how the guilt and traumas of war are passed down to succeeding generations," including:
Here in Berlin by Cristina Garcia (2017)

The Visitor, akin to the Cuban-American author, spends months of 2013 in Berlin. She brings questions such as “What did war keep offering that ensured its survival?”. Can this 21st-century Germany still be examining its postwar condition? It seems so. She pulls tales from vivid and various survivors in the city. Some are so real they have photos, one is snatched from G√ľnter Grass’s Tin Drum, and all offer up their own versions of honesty.
Read about the other entries on the list at the Guardian.

--Marshal Zeringue