Set during the years shortly before the collapse of the Berlin Wall, Philip Sington's novel The Valley of Unknowing is a fictional memoir penned by Bruno Krug, a smug author anointed the People's Champion of Art and Culture in the Worker and Peasant's State of East Germany. Krug is impressed by his own success and ability to live peacefully within the state security apparatus, an accomplishment few are able to achieve. Krug fancies himself a man of the people he regularly fixes his neighbor's plumbing problems but is also at home in the intelligentsia circles that fawn over his popular novel The Orphans of Neustadt, written twenty years ago. Krug now writes banal stories about life in East Germany that sell well and keep the authorities happy. He is aware of the terrors of life in a totalitarian state, but he insouciantly refuses to make them his problem. Then, ...
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