From Publishers Weekly
Keun's literary reputation is currently being reassessed. Her first two books were bestsellers in her native Germany; her later, post-World War II novels less popular. This third novel, published in Germany in 1937, takes a biting look at the final nightmarish days of the Weimar Republic. Narrator Sanna Moder, a ditzy blonde, falls in love with her cousin Franz, a relationship quickly squelched by her aunt, Franz's mother, who informs the police that Sanna has made "subversive statements" about Goring. After a harrowing interrogation, Sanna moves in with her brother, a well-known writer who has been reduced to writing National Socialist Party propaganda, and his wife. She becomes involved with their intellectual circle of friends while waiting to be reunited with her lover. Keun's real talent is as a portraitist. From the cynical journalist contemplating suicide as a way out to the newspaper seller who has invented a divining rod to unmask Jews, the author has portrayed a society desperately trying to protect itself from annihilation. Much of the material is dated, and the clever repartees, the little ironies seem sadly irrelevant now. Yet Keun's spirited defense of common decency stands out after all this time.
Copyright 1988 Reed Business Information, Inc.
--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Praise for After Midnight
“I cannot think of anything else that conjures up so powerfully the atmosphere of a nation turned insane."
“You can feel the creeping evil slowly infiltrate everyday existence. But this is also a love story.” —Manchester Evening News
“Acerbically observed by this youthful, clever, undeceived eye….Crystalline yet acid.” —Jewish Chronicle
"If the original Nach Mitternacht
is as lively as Anthea Bell's snappy English translation, Keun was not only a great satirist but also a great stylist. Now published for the first time in the United States, After Midnight
is a sharp, vivid and uncompromising read on an impossible subject....[A] slim but important novel." —Shelf Awareness
"Explosive....Reading After Midnight
today [still] feels dangerous. I kept turning to the copyright page, unable to believe that such a sexually and politically frank book could have been published in 1937 Germany, a time of blacklists and book burnings....Keun has an amazing gift for exposing the conflict at the heart of the average citizen, whose naivete is eventually and sometimes violently stripped away....After Midnigh
t haunts far beyond its final page." —NPR.com's "Books We Like"
“[Irmgard Keun's] stunning works of literature are searing satires of life under the Third Reich in which fascist ideology is subtly and hilariously subverted, Nazi racism pilloried…The overwhelming power of Keun’s work lies in her surprisingly raw, witty, and resonant feminine voices.”
—Jenny McPhee, Bookslut