Underappreciated: Hans Fallada

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?