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November 2009

Twenty Years After: Germany Then and Now

Image: , photo: Birgit Kinder, “Test the Best,” Berlin Wall public mural, originally painted 1989, restored 1999

On the twentieth anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall, this month’s contributors address the events and aftermath of that transformative time in Germany. Whether witnessing the collapse of Communism firsthand or growing up in its shadow, natives and more recent arrivals explore life before and after reunification. See how Kathrin Aehnlich, Stefan Heym, Yadé Kara, Uwe Kolbe, Günter Kunert, Robert Menasse, Uwe Mengel, Thomas Pletzinger, and Feridun Zaimoglu produce a nuanced portrait of a country coming to terms with its history. We also salute Herta Müller’s Nobel with an extract from her new novel Atemschaukel. And we hope you’ll join us in celebrating the publication of our new print anthology, The Wall in My Head: Words and Images from the Fall of the Iron Curtain. We thank for its generous support for this issue.

On Packing

Everything I have I carry with me. Or: everything that's mine I carry on me. I carried everything I had. It wasn't actually mine. It was either intended for a different purpose

Three Times Germany

Three Times Germany is an audio production of twenty-three monologues performed by eight actors. The monologues are based on interviews of East Germans, West Germans, and Germans living in

Capoeira With Heckler & Koch

My bag in the back of the truck, the Antarctica bottles open, and we're off. David at the wheel of the red pickup, Felix in an open shirt and panama hat, me with the twenty-four-hour

Eternal Youth

My father was horrified when I told him that I was getting married and that the date and place were already set. He shook his head with his typical facial expression, a mixture of

from Everyone Dies, Even the Paddlefish

The new boy with the big ears stood in the cold neon light of the cloakroom, right in the middle of the room, and his school slippers seemed to be stuck to the green linoleum. Take off your

The Knowledge Holder Doesn’t Choke on Cleverness

Feridun Zaimoğlu's Koppstoff: Kanaka Sprak vom Rande der Gesellschaft (1998) presents the fictionalized voices of twenty-six women of Turkish heritage living in Germany.

Selam Berlin

Hi. My name is Hasan Kazan. In Berlin some people call me Hansi though my parents gave me the name Hasan Selim Khan. Oh yeah, my parents . . . They left Istanbul years ago and moved to

To Awaken with Her

To awaken with her, this dream to begin days, days full and ripe whose mornings already pour gold just like this one, this, on which I dream, and say to the gold in my window, I finally


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