A Woman in Berlin: Eight Weeks in the Conquered City: A Diary

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9780312426118: A Woman in Berlin: Eight Weeks in the Conquered City: A Diary
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A New York Times Book Review Editors' Choice

For eight weeks in 1945, as Berlin fell to the Russian army, a young woman kept a daily record of life in her apartment building and among its residents. "With bald honesty and brutal lyricism" (Elle), the anonymous author depicts her fellow Berliners in all their humanity, as well as their cravenness, corrupted first by hunger and then by the Russians. "Spare and unpredictable, minutely observed and utterly free of self-pity" (The Plain Dealer, Cleveland), A Woman in Berlin tells of the complex relationship between civilians and an occupying army and the shameful indignities to which women in a conquered city are always subject--the mass rape suffered by all, regardless of age or infirmity.

A Woman in Berlin stands as "one of the essential books for understanding war and life" (A. S. Byatt, author of Possession).

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About the Author:

The anonymous author of A Woman in Berlin was a young woman at the time of the fall of Berlin. She was a journalist and editor during and after the war.

Excerpt. Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.:

From A Woman in Berlin:
Friday, 11 pm, by the light of an oil lamp, my notebook on my knees. Around 10 pm there was a series of bombs. The siren started right in screaming. Apparently it has to be worked by hand now. No light. Running downstairs in the dark, we slip and stumble. Finally we're in our cellar, behind an iron door that weighs a hundred pounds. The official term is air-raid shelter. We call it cave, underworld, catacomb of fear.

It's the usual cellar people on the usual cellar chairs, which range from kitchen stools to brocaded armchairs. First is the baker's wife, two plump red cheeks peeking over a lambskin collar. Frau Lehmann whose husband is missing in the east, a pillow-like woman with her sleeping infant on her arm and four-year-old Lutz on her lap, his shoelaces dangling. The young man in gray trousers and horn-rimmed glasses who on closer inspection turns out to be a young woman. Three elderly sisters, dressmakers, huddled together like a big black pudding. The bookselling husband and wife who lived in Paris and often speak French to each other in low voices . . . Then the caretaker's family, consisting of mother, two daughters, and a fatherless grandson. The landlord's housekeeper, who is carrying an aging fox terrier in defiance of all air-raid regulations. And then there's me-a pale-faced blonde always dressed in the same winter coat, which by chance I managed to save, who was employed in a publishing house until it closed last week and sent the employees on leave "until further notice."

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Book Description St Martin s Press, United States, 2006. Paperback. Condition: New. Reprint. Language: English . Brand New Book. A New York Times Book Review Editors Choice For eight weeks in 1945, as Berlin fell to the Russian army, a young woman kept a daily record of life in her apartment building and among its residents. With bald honesty and brutal lyricism (Elle), the anonymous author depicts her fellow Berliners in all their humanity, as well as their cravenness, corrupted first by hunger and then by the Russians. Spare and unpredictable, minutely observed and utterly free of self-pity (The Plain Dealer, Cleveland), A Woman in Berlin tells of the complex relationship between civilians and an occupying army and the shameful indignities to which women in a conquered city are always subject--the mass rape suffered by all, regardless of age or infirmity. A Woman in Berlin stands as one of the essential books for understanding war and life (A. S. Byatt, author of Possession). Seller Inventory # AAS9780312426118

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Book Description St Martin s Press, United States, 2006. Paperback. Condition: New. Reprint. Language: English . Brand New Book. A New York Times Book Review Editors Choice For eight weeks in 1945, as Berlin fell to the Russian army, a young woman kept a daily record of life in her apartment building and among its residents. With bald honesty and brutal lyricism (Elle), the anonymous author depicts her fellow Berliners in all their humanity, as well as their cravenness, corrupted first by hunger and then by the Russians. Spare and unpredictable, minutely observed and utterly free of self-pity (The Plain Dealer, Cleveland), A Woman in Berlin tells of the complex relationship between civilians and an occupying army and the shameful indignities to which women in a conquered city are always subject--the mass rape suffered by all, regardless of age or infirmity. A Woman in Berlin stands as one of the essential books for understanding war and life (A. S. Byatt, author of Possession). Seller Inventory # AAS9780312426118

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