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Little Man, What Now?

Translated by Susan Bennett
with an afterword by philip brady

Written just before the Nazis came to power, this darkly enchanting novel tells the simple story of a young couple trying to eke out a devent life amidst an economic crisis that’s transforming their country into a place of anger and despair. It was an international bestseller upon its release, and made into a Hollywood movie—by Jewish producers, which prompted the rising Nazis to begin paying ominously close attention to Hans Fallada, even as his novels held out stirring hope for the human spirit.

It is presented here in its first-ever uncut translation, by Susan Bennett, and with an afterword by Philip Brady that details the calamitous background of the novel, its worldwide reception, and how it turned out to be, for the author, a dangerous book.


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HANS FALLADA was the pen name of German author Rudolph Ditzen, whose books were bestsellers in the US and UK prior to World War II and were even made into Hollywood movies. But during the war he refused to join the Nazi Party, and found himself cast into a Nazi insane asylum. He died soon after the war’s end, but not before writing Every Man Dies Alone -in a feverish 24 days- based upon the Gestapo file of an actual case given to him by a friend. He did not live to see its publication.

”Fallada deserves high praise for having reported so realistically, so truthfully, with such closeness to life.” —Herman Hesse

”There are chapters which pluck the nerves…there are chapters which raise the spirits like a fine day in the country. The truth and variety of the characterization is superb…it recognizes that the world is not to be altered with moral fables…” —Graham Greene

”An inspired work of a great writer hitherto neglected in the English-speaking world. Fallada is a genius at brining his wide range of colorful characters to life. The ’Little Man’ is Mr. Everybody.” —Beryl Bainbridge

”The next Némirovsky…?” Publishers Weekly PDF

”A real gem.” The Nation


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