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Heroes Like Us
by John Brussig
ISBN 0374169837 / 9780374169831 / 0-374-16983-7
Publisher Farrar, Straus and Giroux
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The Berlin Wall fell in 1989, and according to Klaus Uhltzscht, hero of German author Thomas Brussig's novel, Heroes Like Us, he was responsible. Klaus feels responsible for a lot of things, not the least of which is his parents' happiness. It is to please his father--an agent with the notorious East German secret police, the Stasi--that Klaus himself joins up. Once there, he has serious doubts about whether his Stasi is the genuine article or just a decoy to distract attention from the Stasi for which his father works. When the Wall finally falls, Klaus worries that his activities will be distorted in the Western press, so he decides to unburden himself to Oscar Kitzelstein, a New York Times correspondent. The darkly ribald, satirical tale Klaus tells in Heroes Like Us marks the strong debut of an important new voice in the postcommunist literary world. [via]