The Valley of Unknowing
“Remarkable…Superbly anchored in place and time…[A] brilliant, evocative and accurate novel.”—The Times (London)
In the twilight years of Communist East Germany, Bruno Krug, author of a single world-famous novel written twenty years earlier, falls for Theresa Aden, a music student from the West. But Theresa has also caught the eye of a cocky young scriptwriter who delights in satirizing Krug’s work.
Asked to appraise a mysterious manuscript, Bruno is disturbed to find that the author is none other than his rival. Disconcertingly, the book is good—very good. But there is hope for the older man: the unwelcome masterpiece is dangerously political. Krug decides that if his affair with Theresa is to prove more than a fling, he must employ a small deception. But in the Workers’ and Peasants’ State, knowing the deceiver from the deceived, the betrayer from the betrayed, isn’t just difficult: it is a matter of life and death. Now the celebrated author and secret Stasi informer is ready to confess…
The Valley of Unknowing is both a moving and entertaining love story and a seductive thriller, one that pits the past against the future, commerce against creativity, and art against life.
- December 2012
- 6.6 × 9.6 in
/ 304 pages
- Territory Rights: Worldwide including Canada, but excluding the British Commonwealth and the European Union.
Endorsements & Reviews
“A remarkable novel, the first in English to give us a nuanced portrait of life in Communist East Germany, its absurdity, its menace, and its pervasive sense of betrayal.” — Joseph Kanon, author of The Good German
“The Valley of Unknowing is simply superb: affecting but never melodramatic, literary but never less than thrilling. Though Krug is self-pitying, he wins our sympathy…His story, like the manuscript he grudgingly admire, is 'truthfully, tenderly drawn.'” — David Evans, Financial Times
“Philip Sington has managed something quite remarkable…a flawless, gripping and penetrating depiction of life in the former East Germany, wrapped up as a literary thriller…His feeling for not just time and place, but atmosphere and way of life is perfect in a way that no other Western writer, not even John le Carré, has achieved.” — Peter Millar, The Oldie