Book published by Newmag. The cover is hard. 364 pages.
Enthrallingly expansive in its geographical and temporal sweep, this story of a German family tells of years spent in exile, of the revolution, of 1989, and beyond. The masterful narrative makes a halt in Mexico, Siberia, and East Berlin, climbing the summits and charting the abysses of the 20th century along the way. The result is both a stunning panorama and a monumental German novel that makes history itself tangible through the history of one family. A novel of immense stature, founded on its humanity, its precision, and its humor. In Times of Fading Light focuses on three generations. The grandparents, still convinced Communists, return to the fledging East Germany at the beginning of the 1950s to do their part in establishing the new state. Their son returns from the other direction, having emigrated to Moscow and found himself banished to Siberia. He returns with his Russian wife to a country mired in petit-bourgeois values, yet also brings with him an unwavering belief that they can be changed. The grandson, meanwhile, feels increasingly constricted in a heimat that was not of his choosing and heads to the West on the very day that his grandfather, the family patriarch, turns 90. The glittering lights of a political utopia that once shone enticingly seem to be gradually fading as time wears unwaveringly on.
Eugen Ruge is a German writer, director and translator from Russian. In 2011 he won the German Book Prize for In Times of Fading Light. Publishing his debut novel in his fifties, Urals-born writer Eugen Ruge could be said to have arrived somewhat late to the party. However, his sprawling novel In Times of Fading Light bears the marks of a book a long time in the making by a writer who intimately knows his craft.