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Full episode 12.11.12 | 16:15 - 17:00 UTC

Talking Germany - Eugen Ruge, Author

Eugen Ruge won the 2011 German Book Prize for his novel "In Times of Fading Light."

Eugen Ruge comes from a family of German Communists.In 1933, his father Wolfgang Ruge fled from the Nazis to Russia. When the war broke out, all the Germans living in Russia were considered suspicious. Under Stalin, Wolfgang Ruge was sentenced to forced labor and exiled. He later married a Russian. Their son, Eugen, was born in 1954 in Siberia.

In 1956, the family was rehabilitated and moved to East Germany. There, Eugen's father became a celebrated historian. He became a member of the ruling Socialist Unity Party, and was given the state's National Award. Eugen Ruge steered clear of politics- at least as much as possible in the GDR. He studied mathematics and devopled an earthquake prediction model at the Institute for Physics in Potsdam. In 1985 he quit his job and began working as a writer for documentary films. In 1988 he fled to the West, where he wrote plays and dramatized readings and translated Chekhov into German. His first novel "In Times of Fading Light" was a huge success. More than twenty years after end of the GDR, Eugen Ruge told the story of the downfall of a family of German communists while at the same time describing the loss of a socialist utopia.

The book became a bestseller and won the German Book Prize in 2011. Eugen Ruge lives in Berlin and writes on the Baltic Island of Rügen, where he owns a home. He's married and has four children from different relationships.

Talking Germany host Peter Craven talks to Eugen Ruge about fact, fiction, and foot pain. Features on these issues provide subjects for discussion and enhance the conversation on Talking Germany. How much real life should be incorporated when writing a novel? And how much influence should citizens have on policy making? And why would anyone want to run a marathon?

Eugen Ruge won the 2011 German Book Prize for his novel "In Times of Fading Light."