The Standardization of Demoralization Procedures

The Standardization of Demoralization Procedures

by Jennifer Hofmann

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Overview

In a world of spycraft, betrayals, and reversals, a Stasi officer is unraveled by the cruel system he served and by the revelation of a decades-old secret, in this “story that John le Carré might have written for The Twilight Zone” (Washington Post).

A BuzzFeed Best Book of 2020


On November 9, 1989, Bernd Zeiger, a Stasi officer in the twilight of his career, is deteriorating from a mysterious illness. Alarmed by the disappearance of Lara, a young waitress at his regular café with whom he is obsessed, he chases a series of clues throughout Berlin. The details of Lara’s vanishing trigger flashbacks to his entanglement with Johannes Held, a physicist who, twenty-five years earlier, infiltrated an American research institute dedicated to weaponizing the paranormal.

Now, on the day the Berlin Wall falls and Zeiger’s mind begins to crumble, his past transgressions have come back to haunt him. Who is the real Lara, what happened to her, and what is her connection to these events? As the surveiller becomes the surveilled, the mystery is both solved and deepened, with unexpected consequences.

Set in the final, turbulent days of the Cold War, The Standardization of Demoralization Procedures blends the high-wire espionage of John le Carré with the brilliant absurdist humor of Milan Kundera to evoke the dehumanizing forces that turned neighbor against neighbor and friend against friend. Jennifer Hofmann’s debut is an affecting, layered investigation of conscience and country.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780316426459
Publisher: Little, Brown and Company
Publication date: 08/11/2020
Pages: 272
Sales rank: 166,920
Product dimensions: 6.10(w) x 9.40(h) x 1.10(d)

About the Author

Jennifer Hofmann was born in Princeton, New Jersey, to an Austrian father and a Colombian mother, and grew up in Germany. She received her MFA from NYU and currently lives in Berlin. This is her first novel.

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