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02/10/2011

Eugen Ruge's novel "In Times of Fading Light"

Eugen Ruge: "In Times of Fading Light" (In Zeiten des abnehmenden Lichts)

Rowohlt Verlag

English excerpt


The book: 

Eugen Ruge's debut novel, an autobiographically grounded family story, follows the tracks of a communist German-Russian family over the course of almost a century.
Three generations make up the main personnel of this novel: the Grandparents, Charlotte and Wilhelm, fervent communists who return to the young GDR from exile in Mexico; their son Kurt and his Russian wife Irina, who make the same journey, but from the other side of the world – and their son Alexander, who will flee the GDR in Oktober 1989, just before the events that will eventually lead to Germany's reunion. The idea of communism seems to radiate less with every generation.

"In Times of Fading Light" is a novel about a family and about a political ideology - Ruge tells history by telling his family's story. Carefully composed, this novel is a piece of art, yet it seems absolutely effortless and accessible, a book for a wide audience of readers.


The author: Eugen Ruge was born in the Urals, studied mathematics in Berlin and became a member of the research staff at the Central Institute for Geophysics in Potsdam. 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 teaches periodically at the Berlin University of the Arts. He was honoured with the Alfred Döblin Prize in 2009 for his then still unpublished first work of prose, In Times of Fading Light.

Photo © Tobias Bohm
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