The hotel Waldhaus in the Swiss mountain village of Waltenberg is central to the action of this epic novel, which takes in Europe from the First World War to the collapse of the Soviet Union. Waltenberg tells the story of the love between Hans Kappler, a German novelist, and Lena Hotspur, an American singer; of the friendship between Hans and Max Goffard, a French journalist. It is also a spy story. Michael Lilstein, a leader of the underground German communist party before World War II and an Auschwitz survivor, becomes responsible for the East German spy network. In 1956 in Waltenberg, Lilstein recruits as his mole a young Frenchman whose identity remains mysterious. At the height of the Cold War the CIA observe Lilstein and Max at Hans s funeral, determined to flush out the mole. Waltenberg is a riveting novel of espionage and a major work of literature.
Born in 1945, Hedi Kaddour has a Doctorate in Modern Literature. He has been teaching French literature at the Ecole Normale Superieure since 1984. He is the author of three collections of poetry and of several translations (from German, English and Arabic). Waltenberg is his first novel.