In 1989, the Berlin Wall fell; shortly afterwards the two Germanies reunited, and East Germany ceased to exist. In a country where the headquarters of the secret police can become a museum literally overnight, and one in 50 East Germans were informing on their countrymen and women, there are a thousand stories just waiting to get out. Anna Funder tells extraordinary tales from the underbelly of the former East Germany - she meets Miriam, who as a 16-year-old might have started World War III, visits the man who painted the line which became the Berlin Wall and gets drunk with the legendary Mik Jegger of the East, once declared by the authorities to his face to longer to exist .
Anna Funder was born in Melbourne in 1966. She has worked as an international lawyer and a radio and television producer. In 1997 she was writer-in-residence at the Australia Centre in Potsdam. She lives in Sydney with her husband and baby.