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The Hans Fallada Bundle

Part of Gift Ideas

Unlike writers who fled the Nazis—Mann, Hesse, Brecht—Hans Fallada stayed in Germany, and paid the price with incarceration and madness. But his best four novels—all about normal, working class people trying to survive under dire conditions—are not only gripping dramas that are hard to put down. They’re deeply inspiring about the ability of the human spirit to survive.


Before World War II, HANS FALLADA‘s novels such as Little Man, What Now? were international best sellers, on a par with those of his countrymen Thomas Mann and Herman Hesse. But Fallada opted to stay in Germany when the Nazis came to power, and eventually had a nervous breakdown under pressure to write anti-Semitic books. He secretly wrote The Drinker while in a Nazi insane asylum, and composed his anti-fascist novel Every Man Dies Alone just after the war, dying before its publication in 1947.

“I very much enjoyed the rediscovery of Hans Fallada, the German writer … a wonderful novel. Compelling.” —Ian McEwan

“One of the most extraordinary ambitious literary resurrections in recent memory.” —The Los Angeles Times

“A signal literary event of 2009 has occurred… Rescued from the grave, from decades of forgetting…[Every Man Dies Alone] testifies to the lasting value of an intact, if battered, conscience…In a publishing hat trick, Melville House allows English-language readers to sample Fallada’s vertiginous variety…[and] the keen vision of a troubled man in troubled times, with more breadth, detail and understanding…than most other chroniclers of the era have delivered. To read Every Man Dies Alone, Fallada’s testament to the darkest years of the 20th century, is to be accompanied by a wise, somber ghost who grips your shoulder and whispers in your ear: “This is how it was. This is what happened.” —The New York Times Book Review