Clairvoyant, Rich and Lucky

Chloë Daniel

When I first came to Berlin in 2002, house façades were still pockmarked by shrapnel, weeds grew in the empty plots of bombsites and the wind whipped round the new skyscrapers on Potsdamer Platz, built to fill the no-man’s-land between former East and former West. In Hannah’s Dress, Pascale Hugues writes about one of these ordinary-extraordinary streets: the one she lives on. Born in Strasbourg, Hugues moved to Germany in 1989 and has been the German correspondent for the French weekly Le Point since 1995; she has also written two previous books about Germany and its borderlands. Hannah’s Dress won the European Book Prize – set up by the EU in 2007 to ‘promote European values’– three years ago. In telling the story of her street and the people who lived there, Hugues asks: what if the whole turbulent German century could be told through the history of this ordinary street, chosen for no reason other than that she lives there?

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