Introduced by the author
Blending investigative journalism with the personal approach of a writer both fascinated and appalled by her subject, this is an award-winning portrait of life under ‘one of the most savage surveillance regimes ever known'. With previously unpublished photographs by the author.
‘Miriam Weber stands at the end of the platform, a small still woman in the stream of alighting passengers. She holds a single rose in front of her body so I will know who she is. We shake hands, not looking too closely at first. It feels like a blind date, because we have described ourselves to each other. I know she has not told her story to a stranger before.’
In 1989 the Berlin Wall fell; shortly afterwards the two Germanies reunited and East Germany ceased to exist. Several years later, in 1996, Anna Funder, working for a TV station in what was formerly West Berlin, met Miriam Weber, who tried to climb over the Wall aged 16 and was caught. Miriam was imprisoned, interrogated and tortured; the Stasi came into her life and never let her go.
Miriam’s extraordinary story set Funder on a search for others whose lives had been blighted by the old regime: Frau Paul, whose baby boy was in hospital in West Berlin when the Wall was built, suddenly beyond reach; Klaus Renfit, the ‘bad boy’ of East German rock and roll; and, fascinating and chilling at the same time, the ex-Stasi men, still loyal to the Firm, still obsessed with – and proud of – the lives and the power they once had.
‘Stasiland demonstrates that great, original reporting is still possible. A heartbreaking, beautifully written book’
Skilfully interweaving historical detail with eyewitness testimony, Stasiland is a masterpiece of modern journalism, a powerful account of a brutal world that has become a contemporary classic. This edition was prepared in close collaboration with the author. As well as a new introduction exploring the book’s reception in Germany, she has provided previously unpublished photographs of the places and people featured in the book.
Anna Funder is an Australian writer, the author of the international
bestseller Stasiland (2003) and also a novel, All That I Am (2011).
Stasiland won the 2004 Samuel Johnson Prize. It was finalist for many awards including the Guardian Best First Book Award, the Index Freedom of Expression Award, the W. H. Heinemann Award, The Age Book of the Year, the Queensland Premier’s Literary Award, and the Adelaide Festival Awards for Literature (Innovation in Writing).
It was published in twenty countries in many editions and languages, adapted for radio and stage, and is studied in schools and universities across the English-speaking world.
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