From Germany to Germany by Gunter Grass
Diary 1990

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“Very much the work of a writer conscious of his role as a political man of letters.”—Kirkus Reviews

In January 1990, just months after the fall of the Berlin Wall, Günter Grass made two New Year’s resolutions: the first was to travel extensively in the newly united Germany and the second was to keep a diary, to record his impressions of a historic time.

Grass takes part in public debates, writes for newspapers, makes speeches, and meets emerging politicians. He talks to German citizens on both sides, listening to their bewilderment and their hopes for the future. Ideas for stories take root—his novels The Call of the Toad and Too Far Afield.

From Germany to Germany is also a personal record. Grass reflects on his family, remembers his boyhood, and comments on the books he is reading, the drawings he is making, and the sumptuous meals he cooks for family and friends.

The picture that emerges—not only of the two Germanys struggling for a single identity but of a changed world after the end of the Cold War—is engrossing, passionate, and essential for anyone who wants to understand Europe’s new leading nation.


About Gunter Grass

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Born on October 16, 1927 in Gdansk, Poland, Günter Grass was a member of the Hitler Youth in the 1930s. At the age of 16, he was drafted into the German military, was wounded, and became a prisoner of war in 1945. His first novel, The Tin Drum (1959), selected by the French as the best foreign language book of 1962, is the story of Oscar Matzerath, a boy who refuses to grow up as a protest to the cruelty of German society during the war. It is the first part of his Danzig trilogy, followed by Cat and Mouse (1961) and Dog Years (1963), and was made into a movie by director Volker Schlondorff, winning the Academy Award for Best Foreign Film in 1979. His other works include Local Anaesthetic, The Flounder, Crabwalk, and Peeling the Onion. He has been honored many times, including a distinguished service medal from the Federal Republic of Germany in 1980 which he refused to accept. He received the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1999. No Bio
Published March 1, 2012 by Harvill Secker. 272 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, History, Travel, Literature & Fiction. Fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for From Germany to Germany

Kirkus Reviews

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Though he shows no reluctance to “challenge the politicians’ pieties and spit in the unity soup,” even Grass wonders whether he is “merely a captive of the past, a dinosaur.” The author is not usually prone to intimate confession, but he provides a daily account of a year that saw Germany win the...

Sep 15 2012 | Read Full Review of From Germany to Germany: Diar...

Publishers Weekly

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With many period-specific references to modern German culture, most explained in useful identifying endnotes (presumably supplied by supple translator Winston), this memoir, covering 13 months of the key period of German unification, knowingly re-creates an era of doubts and hopes.

May 21 2012 | Read Full Review of From Germany to Germany: Diar...

City Book Review

As this book takes place in the 1990’s, Grass is a social democrat who has deep anxiety about the capitalistic exploitation of the new market of East Germany.

Nov 15 2012 | Read Full Review of From Germany to Germany: Diar...

We Love This Book

The major strands of the writing show the working life of the creator – Gunter Grass is a very active artist, talker and performer, too – and the gestation of not one but two novels long since published.

Nov 08 2012 | Read Full Review of From Germany to Germany: Diar...

THE first curiosity about this diary of the year that began with the fall of the Berlin War and led to the reunification of Germany is that it was not published in Germany till 2009.

Oct 13 2012 | Read Full Review of From Germany to Germany: Diar...

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