More Lives Than One by Jenny Williams
a Biography of Hans Fallada

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A more novelistic biographer would have exploited the dramatic potential of the crises...


Hans Fallada was a drug addict, womanizer, alcoholic, jailbird and thief. Yet he was also one of the most extraordinary storytellers of the twentieth century, whose novels, including Alone in Berlin, portrayed ordinary people in terrible times with a powerful humanity.

This acclaimed biography, newly revised and completely updated, tells the remarkable story of Hans Fallada, whose real name was Rudolf Ditzen. Jenny Williams chronicles his turbulent life as a writer, husband and father, shadowed by mental torment and long periods in psychiatric care. She shows how Ditzen's decision to remain in Nazi Germany in 1939 led to his self-destruction, but also made him a unique witness to his country's turmoil.

More Lives Than One unpicks the contradictory, flawed and fascinating life of a writer who saw the worst of humanity, yet maintained his belief in the decency of the 'little man'.


About Jenny Williams

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Jenny Williams is Senior Lecturer in German at Dublin City University. She has worked on Fallada's life and writings for many years. Her biography is based on published and unpublished sources, including family letters and interviews.
Published February 2, 2012 by Penguin. 300 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, Literature & Fiction, History, Travel. Non-fiction
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Reviewed by John Dugdale on Feb 14 2012

A more novelistic biographer would have exploited the dramatic potential of the crises...

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