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The Standardization of Demoralization Procedures

The Standardization of Demoralization Procedures

For readers of Anthony Marra, Ottessa Moshfegh, and Nicole Krauss, a darkly comic and hauntingly surreal debut novel about what happens when ideologies crumble and the betrayer himself is betrayed.

Told through a momentous day in the life of a fading Stasi officer in East Berlin — the day the Berlin Wall falls — The Standardization of Demoralization Procedures is a novel in parallel timelines about betrayal, dreams, and disillusionment. In the present, Bernd Zeiger wakes on November 9, 1989, unsettled by the symptoms of an unidentifiable, possibly psychosomatic illness, as well as by the disappearance of Lara, a young waitress at his regular corner café. An old colleague summons Zeiger with alarming urgency and a request that suggests Lara’s disappearance is significant.

Twenty-five years earlier, at the height of the Cold War, physicist Johannes Held was ordered by the state to infiltrate a scientific institute in the Arizona desert, with the intention of learning how to weaponize the paranormal. On his return to Germany, he refused to divulge what he had discovered, and Zeiger, a rising Stasi officer, was tasked with obtaining a confession from him. In a strange twist, Zeiger became a friend to Held, but soon betrayed him — an act that haunts him to the present day and will prove to be connected to Lara’s disappearance, with potentially devastating consequences for Zeiger.

Jennifer Hofmann has created an extraordinary and affecting portrait of the dehumanizing political forces that played out in communist East Germany, tempered, all the while, by a unique, absurdist sense of humor. The Standardization of Demoralization Procedures is a brilliantly layered and deeply human work of fiction that addresses headlong the conflict between conscience and country.
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Genre: Fiction / Fiction / Historical

On Sale: August 11th 2020

Price: $27 / $34 (CAD)

Page Count: 272

ISBN-13: 9780316426459

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