Author(s): Eugen Ruge
"Utterly absorbing, funny and humane. A romp through a twisted century in the heart of Europe". (Anna Funder, author of Stasiland). "Eugen Ruge is to the GDR what Hans Fallada was to the Third Reich. In Times of Fading Light may be a novel as important in the whole literature of the Cold War and its aftermath as anything written by Alexander Solzhenitsyn". (Philip Kerr). In Times of Fading Light begins in 2001 as Alexander Umnitzer, who has just been diagnosed with terminal cancer, leaves behind his ailing father to fly to Mexico, where his grandparents lived as exiles in the 1940s. The novel then takes us both forward and back in time, creating a panoramic view of the family's history: from Alexander's grandparents' return to the GDR to build the socialist state to his father's decade spent in a Gulag for criticising the Soviet regime to his son's desire to leave the political struggles of the twentieth century in the past. With wisdom, humour and great empathy, and drawing on his own family history, Eugen Ruge majestically traces the stories of both this particular family and the GDR, while exploring the tragic intertwining of politics, love and family under the East German regime.
A sweeping story of one family over fifty years and four generations in East Germany.
Eugen Ruge was born in the Urals and studied mathematics in Berlin. Before leaving the GDR for the West in 1988 he was a writer, contributing to documentaries made at the state-owned DEFA Studios. Since 1989 he has been writing and translating for theatres and broadcasters, and periodically teaches at the Berlin University of the Arts. In Times of Fading Lightis his first novel.