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‘Tender, acute and utterly absorbing’ Anna Funder, author of Stasiland ‘A wry and unheroic witness... an unofficial history of a country that no longer exists’ Julian Barnes ‘Beautiful and supremely touching’ Keith Lowe, Sunday Telegraph Growing up in East Berlin, Maxim Leo knew not to ask questions. All he knew was that his rebellious parents, Wolf and Anne, with their dyed hair, leather jackets and insistence he call them by their first names, were a bit embarrassing. That there were some places you couldn't play; certain things you didn't say. Now, married with two children and the Wall a distant memory, Maxim decides to find the answers to the questions he couldn't ask. Why did his parents, once passionately in love, grow apart? Why did his father become so angry, and his mother quit her career in journalism? And why did his grandfather Gerhard, the Socialist war hero, turn into a stranger? The story he unearths is, like his country's past, one of hopes, lies, cruelties, betrayals but also love. In Red Love he captures, with warmth and unflinching honesty, why so many dreamed the GDR would be a new world and why, in the end, it fell apart. ‘A serious, very moving book... a weave of narratives about five lives, connected by blood and marriage but divided by politics’ Neal Ascherson, London Review of Books ‘Simultaneously gripping and meditative, an engaging and thought-provoking portrait of a disappeared world’ Natasha Tripney, Observer ‘Compelling ... [Leo] is terrific at elucidating the slow, incremental steps by which people come to lie to themselves... guile, guilt and disappointment drip from these pages and Red Love is all the more affecting for it’ Marina Benjamin, New Statesman ‘With truthful tenderness and wry humour, Maxim Leo looks back not in anger but in an effort to understand the past’ Iain Finlayson, The Times ‘Honest and sober... a convincing depiction of what everyday life was like and the legacy it has left… illuminating’ Metro ‘An absorbing and personal account that gives outsiders an insight into life in the GDR’ Shortlist '[Red Love] gives us extraordinary, intimate access to East Germany when the state was not just in the family apartment but locked within the minds and aspirations of all its citizens’ Sunday TelegraphRed Love is an important and compelling book for many reasons, but perhaps more than anything it reminds us of the pull of family, however flawed it might be’ Susie Dent, SpectatorRed Love... is a memoir about three leftist German generations in a family seeking Utopia and trying to stay whole’ Glasgow Herald ‘Illuminating … Red Love offers an engaging exploration of the complex decades that caused families to become strangers to one another, and a refreshing response to the deceptively simple question: "What was it like?"’ Independent ‘Persuasive and absorbing... written with warmth, humour and no shortage of self-criticism’ Times Literary Supplement Maxim Leo was born in 1970 in East Berlin. He studied Political Science at the Free University in Berlin and at the Institut d'Etudes Politiques de Paris. Since 1997 he is Editor of the Berliner Zeitung. In 2002 he was nominated for the Egon-Erwin-Kisch Prize, and in the same year won the German-French Journalism Prize. He won the Theodor Wolff Prize in 2006. He lives in Berlin. Translated by Shaun Whiteside Cover illustration by Clare Skeats 272 pp Published (US) 04/01/2014 ISBN 9781908968517 Hardback