‘Painfully true to life … I have read nothing so engaging as Little Man, What Now? for a long time.’Thomas Mann
Written just before the Nazis came to power, this darkly enchanting novel tells the story of a young German couple trying to eke out a decent life amidst an economic crisis that is transforming their country into a place of anger and despair. Little Man, What Now? was an international bestseller upon its release, and was made into a Hollywood movie — by Jewish producers, which prompted the rising Nazis to begin paying ominously close attention to Hans Fallada, even as his novels held out stirring hope for the human spirit.
It is presented here in its first-ever uncut translation, by Susan Bennett, and with an afterword by Philip Brady that details the calamitous background of the novel, its worldwide reception, and how it turned out to be, for the author, a dangerous book.
‘[T]he work that put Fallada firmly on the German and international literary map … its portraits and vignettes of life in those turbulent times depict the disastrous effects of political and social instability on almost every inhabitant of Berlin … clear-eyed and wholly unsentimental’Andrew Riemer , Sydney Morning Herald
‘Nearly every page is riddled with elements of humour and despair that emit the rare impression of a page-turning novel with a social conscience.’Kevin Rabalais, Weekend Australian
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‘There are chapters which pluck the nerves … there are chapters which raise the spirits like a fine day in the country. The truth and variety of the characterization is superb … it recognises that the world is not to be altered with moral fables.’Graham Greene