A Woman in Berlin: Eight Weeks in the Conquered City: A Diary

By Anonymous
Translated by Philip Boehm
Read by Isabel Keating

10.45 Hours 05/16/2017 unabridged
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    ISBN: 9781427291394

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    ISBN: 9781427291387

For eight weeks in 1945, as Berlin fell to the Russian army, a young woman kept a daily record of life in her apartment building and among its residents. With “bald honesty and brutal lyricism” (Elle), the anonymous author depicts her fellow Berliners in all their humanity, as well as their cravenness, corrupted first by hunger and then by the Russians. “Spare and unpredictable, minutely observed and utterly free of self-pity” (Cleveland Plain Dealer), A Woman in Berlin tells of the complex World War II relationship between civilians and an occupying army and the shameful indignities to which women in a conquered city are always subject—the mass rape suffered by all, regardless of age or infirmity. A Woman in Berlin stands as “one of the essential books for understanding war and life” (A. S. Byatt, author of Possession).

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Summary

Summary

AudioFile Earphones Award Winner

New York Times Book Review Editor’s Choice

An ALA Notable Book for 2006

For eight weeks in 1945, as Berlin fell to the Russian army, a young woman kept a daily record of life in her apartment building and among its residents. With “bald honesty and brutal lyricism” (Elle), the anonymous author depicts her fellow Berliners in all their humanity, as well as their cravenness, corrupted first by hunger and then by the Russians.

“Spare and unpredictable, minutely observed and utterly free of self-pity” (Cleveland Plain Dealer), A Woman in Berlin tells of the complex World War II relationship between civilians and an occupying army and the shameful indignities to which women in a conquered city are always subject—the mass rape suffered by all, regardless of age or infirmity.

A Woman in Berlin stands as “one of the essential books for understanding war and life” (A. S. Byatt, author of Possession).

Editorial Reviews

Editorial Reviews

“Narrator Isabel Keating manages to convey the frustration, hunger, depression, and exhaustion faced by the author, a journalist, who somehow manages to maintain her sanity despite several rapes and a diet of potatoes and nettles…A Woman in Berlin ranks as one of the great historical diaries. Winner of the AudioFile Earphones Award.” AudioFile
“A devastating book. It is matter-of-fact, makes no attempt to score political points, does not attempt to solicit sympathy for its protagonist, and yet is among the most chilling indictments of war I have ever read. Everybody, in particular every woman, ought to read it. Arunhati Roy, New York Times bestselling author
A tract essential for our often morally fuzzy times . . . It is destined to be a classic. San Francisco Chronicle
Let Anonymous stand witness as she wished to: as an undistorted voice for all women in war and its aftermath, whatever their names or nation or ethnicity. Anywhere. Los Angeles Times
An astonishing record of survival . . . the voice of Anonymous emerges as both shrewd and funny . . . a fresh contribution to the literature of war. Entertainment Weekly (grade: A)
A richly detailed, clear-eyed account of the effects of war and enemy occupation on a civilian population . . . She has written, in short, a work of literature, rich in character and perception. New York Times Book Review
Her journal earns a particular place in the archives of recollection. This is because it neither condemns nor forgives: not her countrymen, not her occupiers, and not, remarkably, herself. . . . Stands gritty and obdurate among a swirl of revisionist currents that variously have asserted and disputed the inherent nature of Germans' national guilt . . .To put it briefly, Anonymous writes a merciless account of what individuals can be faced with when all material and social props collapse. Boston Globe
A riveting account of a military atrocity . . . The author doesn't try to explain or moralize the horror. She simply records it as perhaps no one else has, in all of its devastating essence. New York Observer
Unflinchingly honest . . . Its frank documentation of German suffering--the hunger and uncertainty as well as the widespread rape--illuminates a subject whose worldwide taboo is just beginning to subside. Village Voice
A brilliant and powerful work. Newsday
What makes the book an essential document is its frank and unself-conscious record of the physical and moral devastation that accompanied the war. . . . The diarist's emotional register remains unfailingly calm. Her dispassionate chronicle of the disasters of war suggests a kind of stoic heroism. . . . Remarkable. Salon.com
A stunning account of a German woman's battle to survive repeated rape at the hands of the victors among the ruins of Berlin . . . While leaders plot their dreams of glory and victory, the lives of ordinary people--on all sides--are trampled and destroyed. A most salutary work. David Hare, The Guardian (U.K.)
The author has a fierce, uncompromising voice, and her book should become a classic of war literature. Publishers Weekly
Books can transform us. So very few do. A Woman in Berlin is one that can. Dayton Daily News
A work of great power . . . The author is a keen observer of the ironies, even the absurdities, of a collapsing society. . . . A devastating and rare glimpse at ordinary people who struggle to survive. Booklist
With the passage of time, Anonymous's perspective--and the extraordinary way she kept her dignity and moral sense alive in an inferno--have made her diary a war classic. Maclean's (Toronto)
Marvelous . . . As it is a human instinct to survive, this book, which could have been horrifying, is instead exhilarating: a rare tribute to the human spirit. Daily Mail (U.K.)
Coolly written, tearingly honest . . . This is a classic not only of war literature but also of writing at the very extreme of human suffering. Daily Telegraph (London)

Reviews

Reviews

Author

Author Bio: Anonymous

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Details

Details

Available Formats : Digital Download, CD
Category: Nonfiction/Biography & Autobiography
Runtime: 10.45
Audience: Adult
Language: English