Contemporary fiction set in the GDR

Enjoyed Deutschland 83? Want to read some stories about East Germany? Here’s a list of contemporary fiction dealing with, or set in East Germany. Updated June 2018

  • Click/tap the images to see a description of the book
  • Click/tap again to get rid of the description
Cover of Rummelplatz
Rummelplatz by Werner Bräunig
The Berlin Crossing by Kevin Brophy
The Berlin Crossing by Kevin Brophy
Visitation by Jenny Erpenbeck
Visitation by Jenny Erpenbeck, translated by Susan Bernofsky
West by Julia Franck
West by Julia Franck
Find out more about the GDR: articles, tours around East Berlin and GDR music.
Purity by Jonathan Franzen
Purity by Jonathan Franzen
Dance By The Canal by Kerstin Hensel
Dance By The Canal by Kerstin Hensel, trans. by Jen Caleja
Stealing The Future cover
Stealing The Future by Max Hertzberg
Cover of Stasi Vice
Stasi Vice by Max Hertzberg
The Sleep of the Righteous by Wolfgang Hilbig
The Moment by Douglas Kennedy
The Moment by Douglas Kennedy
Eros by Helmut Krausser
Eros by Helmut Krausser
Silent Close No. 6 by Monika Maron, trans by David Marinelli
Silent Close No. 6 by Monika Maron, trans by David Marinelli
Motherland by Jo McMillan
leipzig
The Leipzig Affair by Fiona Rintoul
fadinglight
In Times of Fading Light by Eugen Ruge
A Square in East Berlin by Torsten Schulz
The Valley of the Unknowing by Philip Sington
cover of The Tower
The Tower by Uwe Tellkamp
Plan D by Simon Urban
The Mussel Feast by Birgit Vanderbeke
Cover of The Girl in Berlin
The Girl In Berlin by Elizabeth Wilson
Stasi Child by David Young
Where to get these books
Support your local bookshop (UK) (or find your local bookshop in the US) (many do online ordering).

Can you help make this list better?
To keep the list to a manageable size I’ve arbitrarily limited it to contemporary fiction (let’s say, written after 1989) in the English language (incl. translations into English), and first in series only.

  • Have you read any of these books? What did you think of them?
  • Know any books that should be on this list (fiction, post-1989, actually about life in the GDR – more than a few scenes set there, in English)?

Have I missed anything? Please let me know if you think I’ve missed a novel set in the GDR.