Hans Fallada, Everything in My Life Ends Up in a Book(Hans Fallada)
Anne Folkertsma, 2015
416 pages, 125.000 words
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Hans Fallada; Everything in My Life Ends Up in a Book | Hans Fallada
Anne Folkertsma

The life, the books, the fame and adversity from the world renowned author Hans Fallada. A fascinating portrait from the recently rediscovered reader’s favorite, the struggles with his era, with the Nazis, and with himself. It contains three autobiographical stories by Hans Fallada that hadn’t been published outside of Germany before.

‘I am writing, I am writing every hour, day and night, whether I am sitting at my desk or walking around, whether I am answering letters or talking to you, everything in my life ends up in a book. It has to be so, it couldn’t be anything else, because I am who I became.’ – Hans Fallada

‘His books smell like a human. They writhe with life. He enchants you with his spontaneity.’ – Robert Musil in 1931

‘It is unbelievable that such diverse books were written with the same pen, the same experiences and the same fantasy.’ – publisher Ledig-Rowohlt in 1939

Nobody has painted such a cinematographic, touching and nuanced portrait of Germany before, during and after the Second World War like Hans Fallada. Nobody has been rescued from desperation, alcohol and morphine addictions by writing, time and time again like him. Who was the man behind the pseudonym Hans Fallada? And what did he conceal, when he declared: ‘everything in my life ends up in a book’.

Fallada had a tumultuous youth, shot his best friend, was thrown in jail a few times and ended up in psychiatric care over and over again. Even though he made a career as a farmer, he always knew he wanted to be a writer. Kleiner Mann, was nun? made him rich and famous in 1932 but all of his life he kept identifying himself with the pauper who constantly made the wrong decisions. It’s the Kleiner Mann about and for whom he wrote his books.

Anne Folkertsma has meticulously studied Fallada’s correspondence and diaries and shows how he grew to become a reader’s favorite in the early thirties and one of the five most translated German authors ever. She explains how he tried to continue his work in Germany throughout the Second World War, but increasingly became a string puppet of the times in which he lived in.

The three intrusive stories by Hans Fallada about his writing are an extraordinary complement to Anne Folkertsma’s biography.

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