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In Zeiten des abnehmenden Lichts (original 2011; edition 2011)
by Eugen Ruge
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This expansive family saga, set against the backdrop of the collapse of East German communism, begins in September 2001 as Alexander Umnitzer, who has just been diagnosed with terminal cancer, leaves behind his ailing father to fly to Mexico, where his grandparents lived as exiles in the 1940s. The novel then takes us both forward and back in time, creating a panoramic view of the family's history: from Alexander's grandparents' return to the German Democratic Republic to build the socialist state, to his father's decade spent in a gulag for criticizing the Soviet regime, to his son's desire to leave the political struggles of the twentieth century in the past. With wisdom, humor, and empathy, Eugen Ruge draws on his own family history as he brings to life the tragic intertwining of politics, love, and family under the East German regime.--From publisher description.
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