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Red Love by Maxim Leo, translated by Shaun Whiteside

Red Love by Maxim Leo, translated by Shaun Whiteside

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From the publisher:

A Sunday Telegraph, Irish Times and Glasgow Herald Book of the Year

“Tender, acute and utterly absorbing” Anna Funder, author of Stasiland

“A wry and unheroic witness… an unofficial history of a country that no longer exists” Julian Barnes

“Beautiful and supremely touching” Keith Lowe, Sunday Telegraph

“Compelling … [Leo] is terrific at elucidating the slow, incremental steps by which people come to lie to themselves… Guile, guilt and disappointment drip from these pages and Red Love is all the more affecting for it” New Statesman

Growing up in East Berlin, Maxim Leo knew not to ask questions. All he knew was that his rebellious parents, Wolf and Anne, with their dyed hair, leather jackets and insistence he call them by their first names, were a bit embarrassing. That there were some places you couldn’t play; certain things you didn’t say.

Now, married with two children and the Wall a distant memory, Maxim decides to find the answers to the questions he couldn’t ask. Why did his parents, once passionately in love, grow apart? Why did his father become so angry, and his mother quit her career in journalism? And why did his grandfather Gerhard, the Socialist war hero, turn into a stranger?

The story he unearths is, like his country’s past, one of hopes, lies, cruelties, betrayals but also love. In Red Love he captures, with warmth and unflinching honesty, why so many dreamed the GDR would be a new world and why, in the end, it fell apart.