From scouring the family archives and conducting emotional interviews with his parents, the journalist Maxim Leo reveals the real story of life in East Germany – a story that is, like his country’s past, one of hopes, lies, cruelties, betrayals but also love. As a child, Maxim's family was much like the German Democratic Republic in miniature; privately fighting the ideological battles that were forbidden in public. He knew not to ask questions, and life was irritatingly restrictive: there were some places you couldn’t play; certain things you didn’t say; things you ought not to think. The young Maxim longed for what he saw as normality – the three-piece suites, colour television sets and office-worker parents of his peers. Now, married with two children, and the Wall a distant memory, Maxim investigates the answers to those questions he couldn’t ask. What emerges is an unflinching portrait of life throughout an ideologically turbulent twentieth-century Germany, drawn with the most human of touches.
Winner of the European Book Prize, Red Love is a compelling account of what held East Germany together, and what – in the end – destroyed it."Tender, acute and utterly absorbing" Anna Funder, author of Stasiland "Heartbreaking" La Tribune "A crucial book … poignant … a tragedy reminiscent of the great narrative poets, Dostoevsky or Koestler. Maxim Leo has earned his place alongside them." Sud Ouest "A lyrical story about a family in a divided city" Hamburger Abendblatt Click here to read an extract.