The best new writing, photography, art, and reportage from and about Berlin—in the series that’s “like a literary vacation” (Publishers Weekly).
In 1990s Berlin, the scars of a century of war were still visible everywhere: coal stoves, crumbling buildings, desolate minimarts, not a working buzzer or elevator. To visit the city then was a hallucinatory experience, a simultaneous journey into the past and into the future.
The abandoned ruins, the hidden gems found at the flea market, the illegal basement raves are a thing of the past. The era of Berlin as a site of urban archeology is over. Almost all the damaged buildings have been repaired, squatters have been removed, the shops selling East German furniture have closed down. Without its wounds, the landscape of the city is perhaps less striking but more solid, stronger. Even the city’s inhabitants have lost some of their melancholia, their romantic and self-destructive streak: today you can even find people who come to Berlin to actually work, not just to “create” or idle their days away. Yet, Berlin remains a youthful city and retains its aura as “the capital of cool.” Its only sacrosanct principles are an uncompromising multiculturalism and the belief that its future is yet to be written. This volume of the series includes:
The Greatest Show in Town: The Resurrection of Potsdamer Platz by Peter Schneider · Berlin Suite by Cees Nooteboom · Tempelhof: A Field of Dreams by Vincenzo Latronico · Plus: the controversial reconstruction of a Prussian castle, Berlin’s most transgressive sex club and its disappearing traditional pubs, a green urban oasis, suburban neo-Nazis, North Vietnamese in the East, South Vietnamese in the West, techno everywhere and much more . . .
“These books are so rich and engrossing that it is rewarding to read them even when one is stuck at home.” —The Times Literary Supplement