Dirk Brauns

Being Inconspicuous

Die Unscheinbaren

Being Inconspicuous

English sample translation by Emma Rault available

Every family has its secrets but only in few of them the parents turn out to be spies – a novel inspired by the author’s true family story

It is the turning point of his life: On a cold dark night in 1965, 18-year-old Martin Schmidt, has to watch as the Stasi arrests his parents: For many years, they had been working as spies for the West German Intelligence Service. For Martin, after that night, life in socialist East Germany is a living hell: He is bullied at school, mocked on the street, and his neighbors avoid the “traitor child.” Unable to bear the shame, his grandmother soon dies. When, years later, his mother is released, Martin follows her to the West – leaving behind the love of his life, Angelika…

Decades later, these traumatic experiences catch up with him and he decides to get to the bottom of his family’s story. When he immerses himself in the archival records, the world of intelligence agencies and dead drops, he discovers contradictions and inconsistencies that lead to shocking information about who betrayed his parents and who benefitted from it. Martin embarks on a journey to his roots, not least finding a way back to Angelika in the process.



ISBN: 978-3-86971-188-1
release: 14. February 2019
336 pages, gebunden mit SU


20,00 €
0,00 sFr
20,60 €
sample translation

About the Author

Dirk Brauns was born in Berlin in 1968. He was a newspaper correspondent in Warsaw, Beijing and Minsk for many years before moving to the Munich area. In 2013, he published his debut novel Im Inneren des Landes (“In the Heart of the Country”).Its radio play adaptation was voted Radio play of the Month and the novel is currently being made into a movie. His second novel Wir müssen dann fort sein (“We Have to Be Gone Then”) came out in 2016.