The Berlin Stories Background

The Berlin Stories Background

The Berlin Stories comprises of two separate novellas by eminent English author Christopher Isherwood. The stories, one called Goodbye to Berlin and the other Mr. Norris Changes Trains, are both semi-autobiographical accounts of Isherwood's time spent in Weimar Republic Germany. The book was published in 1945.

Both the narratives are set in between 1930 and 1933, in the wake of the Great Depression, and in the onset of Hitler's rise to power in Germany. They are set in the capital of Germany, Berlin, which is portrayed as a city in turmoil and shifting perspectives. The various characters of Isherwood's tales reflect this complex, constantly transitioning environment.

The Berlin Stories have been extremely influential on later literary works, inspiring the musical and film Cabaret, a movie that won eight Oscars and grossed over $20 million world wide. Time magazine recently selected The Berlin Stories as one of 100 best English-language novels of the 20th century.

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