Irmgard Keun

After Midnight
  • After Midnight



  • 'I cannot think of anything else that conjures up so powerfully the atmosphere of a nation turned insane' Sunday Telegraph

    Nineteen-year-old Sanna just wants to drink her beer in peace, but that's difficult when Hitler has come to town and his motorcade is blocking the streets of Frankfurt. What's more, her best friend Gerti is in love with a Jewish boy, her brother writes books that have been blacklisted and her own aunt may denounce her to the authorities at any moment, as Germany teeters on the edge of the abyss. Written after she had fled the Nazi regime, Irmgard Keun's masterly novel captures the feverish hysteria and horror of the era with devastating perceptiveness and humour." data-fwclientid="88d97613-d71f-452d-82be-6b7433d21967" data-preservehtmlbullets="0" data-allowlists="0" data-crlfsubmit="1" autocomplete="off" autocorrect="off" autocapitalize="off" spellcheck="false" class="field_input_main field_input_copytext field_input_copytext_body copytextheight-normal field_input_disabled fieldkeycheck-setup copytext-setup" contenteditable="false" style="box-sizing: border-box; padding: 3px; margin: 0px; border-bottom: 1px solid rgb(204, 204, 204); border-bottom-left-radius: 5px; border-bottom-right-radius: 5px; border-collapse: separate; border-left: 1px solid rgb(204, 204, 204); border-right: 1px solid rgb(204, 204, 204); font-family: verdana, tahmoma, sans-serif; font-size: 10px; font-variant-numeric: normal; font-variant-east-asian: normal; line-height: normal; outline: none; width: 586px; overflow-y: auto; display: inline-block; background-color: rgb(238, 238, 238); height: 100px;">Nineteen-year-old Sanna just wants to drink her beer in peace, but that's difficult when Hitler has come to town and his motorcade is blocking the streets of Frankfurt. What's more, her best friend Gerti is in love with a Jewish boy, her brother writes books that have been blacklisted and her own aunt may denounce her to the authorities at any moment, as Germany teeters on the edge of the abyss. Written after she had fled the Nazi regime, Irmgard Keun's masterly novel captures the feverish hysteria and horror of the era with devastating perceptiveness and humour.

RELEASED 28/05/2020

Irmgard Keun was born in Berlin in 1905 and found instant success with her novels Gilgi (1931) and The Artificial Silk Girl (1932). Everything changed in 1933 when the Nazis blacklisted her and destroyed her books; in response, she attempted to sue the Gestapo for loss of earnings. She left Germany (and her husband) in 1936 and lived in exile in Europe, where she wrote Child of All Nations (1936) and After Midnight (1937). She sneaked back into Germany in 1940 under a false name and spent the rest of the war in Cologne. In later years, she wrote for magazines and radio and raised a daughter alone. She died in 1982.