Title Profile & Character Information

The Reader

Annotation
Hailed for its coiled eroticism and the moral claims it makes upon the reader, this mesmerizing novel is a story of love and secrets, horror and compassion, unfolding against the haunted landscape of postwar Germany.
When he falls ill on his way home from school, fifteen-year-old Michael Berg is rescued by Hanna, a woman twice his age. In time she becomes his lover--then she inexplicably disappears. When Michael next sees her, he is a young law student, and she is on trial for a hideous crime. As he watches her refuse to defend her innocence, Michael gradually realizes that Hanna may be guarding a secret she considers more shameful than murder.

Awards
1997  New York Times Notable Books of the Year
1998  Fisk Fiction Prize (Boston, Massachusetts)

Characters
NameBerg, Michael
GenderMale
OccupationCollege students

NameSchmitz, Hanna
GenderFemale
TraitIlliterate

GenrePsychological
Coming of age
Fiction
Cinematization
    --Movie
TopicsJewish Holocaust
Nazis
Love affairs
Obsessive love
Mysterious disappearances
Reunited lovers
War crimes
Trials
Secrets
Sexual awakening
Moral dilemmas
SettingGermany