Francis Nenik’s thrilling slice of narrative non-fiction »Journey through a Tragicomic Century« is about the life of the forgotten writer Hasso Grabner, told with great joy in language and love of absurdity. The journey takes us from the Young Communists in 1920s Leipzig to wartime Crete, with Grabner falling from steelworks director to a vilified author banned from publishing his work in the GDR.
“Truth stranger than fiction, told with lancet-like irony. Nenik follows his picaresque pragmatist across the shifting fronts of socialism and fascism, navigating the horrors of World War II with black humour recalling Catch-22 or Slaughterhouse-Five, and finding the absurdist entertainment value in East German party intrigues. The verbal pyrotechnics drive an incisive reflection on the workings of the ‘grotesque names history.'”Isabel Cole, writer and translator of Wolfgang Hilbig.