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Back to Back – Julia Franck


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The moving story of a brother and a sister caught in the tide of the Cold War Kathe is a Jewish sculptor living in East Berlin. A survivor of the Nazi era, she is a fervent socialist who has been using her political connections to secure more significant commissions. Devoted entirely to success, she is a cruel and abrasive mother to her children. She barely acknowledges Ella’s vulnerable loneliness and Thomas’s quiet aspirations, and her hard-nosed brutality forces her children to build an imaginary world as a shelter from the coldness that surrounds them. As the Berlin Wall goes up, dreams are shattered, lives fall apart and this dark fairytale of East Germany unfolds.


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