Underappreciated: Hans Fallada

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

For this year’s first segment of our Underappreciated series, Dennis Johnson discusses the life and literary work of the German writer Hans Fallada.

Before WWII, Fallada's novels were international bestsellers, but when he refused to join the Nazi party he was hounded, arrested, and eventually imprisoned in an asylum. There, he wrote three  encrypted books that weren’t deciphered until long after his death. Fallada was freed at the end of the war, and, inspired by the true story of a working-class couple who had resisted the Nazis, wrote Every Man Dies Alone, in just 24 days. He died in February 1947, just weeks before the book's publication. He's also the author of Wolf Among Wolves, The Drinker, and Little Man, What Now?


Dennis Johnson

Comments [4]


I just finished listening to Every Man Dies Alone (MP3). I am astounded at this magnificent story and cannot conceive of such a treasure being done in 24 days! I am now looking for "What Now Little Man" and "The Drinker" (mp3)

I must have more ..... wow

Aug. 19 2010 12:15 PM
Evangeline from Brooklyn

I read EVERY MAN DIES ALONE -- it's fantastic! I'm so glad to learn more about the author. He sounds fascinating -- can't wait to read his other books.

Thanks, Leonard, for a very cool show!

Jul. 21 2010 04:14 PM
Skip from NY

I read EVERY MAN DIES ALONE. I was totally engrossed in this remarkable story. It is amazing. I highly recommend this book.

Jul. 21 2010 12:57 PM
Chris from Long Island City

I minored in German at Hunter College. My wonderful professor and mentor Dorothy James was a huge fan of Fallada and we read "Kleiner Mann, was nun?" as part of one of our classes. Not only was it very readable for a non-native speaker of the language, but it was heartbreaking, funny and wickedly politcally observant all at the same time. It has always been one of my favorite books and I'm thrilled Fallada is being rediscovered.

Jul. 21 2010 12:52 PM

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