A Time to Forget in East Berlin, Vol II (2022)

cg fewston

BREW Book Excellence Award Winner

BREW Readers’ Choice Award Winner

“Vivid, nuanced, and poetic…”

~ The Prairies Book Review

“A spellbinding tale of love and espionage set under the looming shadow of the Berlin Wall in 1975… A mesmerising read full of charged eroticism.”

~ Ian Skewis, Associate Editor for Bloodhound Books, & author of best-selling novel A Murder of Crows (2017)  

“There is no better way for readers interested in Germany’s history and the dilemma and cultures of the two Berlins to absorb this information than in a novel such as this, which captures the microcosm of two individuals’ love, relationship, and options and expands them against the blossoming dilemmas of a nation divided.”

~ D. Donovan, Senior Reviewer, Midwest Book Review

“An engrossing story of clandestine espionage… a testament to the lifestyle encountered in East Berlin at the height of the Cold War.”

~ Lone Star Literary Life Magazine

A Time to Forget in East Berlin is a dream-like interlude of love and passion in the paranoid and violent life of a Cold War spy. The meticulous research is evident on every page, and Fewston’s elegant prose, reminiscent of novels from a bygone era, enhances the sensation that this is a book firmly rooted in another time.”

~ Matthew Harffy, prolific writer & best-selling historical fiction author of the “Bernicia Chronicles” series

Matthew Harffy has been called “a master of the Dark Age thriller” by Theodore Brun, author of A Mighty Dawn (2017), and the “rightful heir to Gemmell’s crown” by Jemahl Evans, author of The Last Roundhead (2015). Matthew Harffy’s books include Wolf of Essex (2019), Storm of Steel (2019), Fortress of Fury (2020), A Time for Swords (2020), For Lord and Land (2021), and A Night of Flames (2022).

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“An exhilarating journey” & “with poise and skill, Fewston navigates the psychological and physical terrain of this tale of love, passion, duty, regret, divided loyalties, and betrayal. The novel is vintage espionage.”

~ BookView Review

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Hollywood Weekly Magazine Ad for the Cannes Film Festival

Thanks to BOOKStoSCREEN, A TIME TO FORGET IN EAST BERLIN was featured in the Hollywood Weekly Magazine (May & June 2022 editions) specifically for the Cannes & Tribeca Film Festivals

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Hollywood Weekly Magazine Ad for the Tribeca Film Festival
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Author Sherri Daley on BookTrib writes that A TIME TO FORGET IN EAST BERLIN is “rich in history and geography… creating an idyllic backdrop for love.”

She goes on to explain that “Fewston’s mastery of storytelling comes as no surprise” and that “Fewston’s writing is rich with literary allusions and foreign phrases. His characters are educated and passionate, and the stories they tell one another are carefully threaded into the overall plot, making the novel multi-layered. The complexities of living in a divided city must simply be dealt with, and Fewston shows us matter-of-factly what life was like in those years.”

You can read the full book review on BookTrib here.

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“Simply A Reader” on Amazon gave the following customer review: “A gripping follow-through to the first book in the trilogy” … “The verdict: FEWSTON intricately weaves poetic allusions, historical nuggets, romantic trysts, and sensational suspense as before. Full of tensions, lows, excitement, and highs, be taken on a roller-coaster ride with this tome. 5 stars, I’d have to state… Note: This review is not paid, expected, requested, or required in any way.”

You can read Simply A Reader’s full customer review on Amazon here.

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“This stand-alone story is both a powerful compliment to its predecessor and a testimony to the strength of a writer who allows the personal and the political to intersect along the road of life in delightful, refreshingly evocative ways recommended for literary, historical fiction and novel readers alike.”

~ D. Donovan, Senior Reviewer, Midwest Book Review

Augustine once referred to memory as a “large and boundless chamber,” and we now know that the mind can be assaulted by forms of forgetfulness, whether it be dementia or structural amnesia. We must also not forget to mention about public memory discourse in forms of societal rituals that can include commemorations and historical self-reflections.

Historically, Remembering is often viewed as the hero while Forgetting becomes the villain in this ancient struggle for knowledge and truth. Anamnesis (recollection) suggests that memory is an intellectual and spiritual truth while those who drank from the waters of Lethe (forgetfulness) were condemned to mundane lives that were unable to fulfil their highest spiritual and divine natures.

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“Fewston avoids familiar plot elements of espionage fiction, and he is excellent when it comes to emotional precision and form while crafting his varied cast of characters.”

~ The Prairies Book Review

Several months after the ending to A Time to Love in Tehran (the first book of the trilogy), we find our hero John Lockwood (a former CIA officer) living a new life with a new identity in East Berlin, where he is dating the young Antonina “Nina” Rosenberg while the Ministry for State Security, known as the Stasi, recruit John for another mission.

Excerpt from the Lone Star Literary Life Magazine Book Review:

A Time to Forget in East Berlin is not only an engrossing story of clandestine espionage, but it is also a testament to the lifestyle encountered in East Berlin at the height of the Cold War. Author C.G. Fewston does not color the story as anti-Communist or pro-Socialist but describes life in East Berlin with a matter-of-fact approach.

“Set in the mid-1970s, the story occurs over a ten-month period. Told in first-person narrative, the narrator is John Lockwood, an American, but he is currently using the name Jacob Lockwood. John’s purpose in East Berlin is not given, but with the secret meetings with Italians and Russians, the reader can begin to form a conclusion.

“Fewston further cements John’s intimate relationship with the reader by using Nina – John’s neighbor and love interest. Nina is twenty years John’s junior, and she is portrayed as someone desperately needing affection. She is an orphan and discontent with her life in East Berlin. She seeks an intimate relationship with John. This establishes John’s ultimate internal struggle: should he give in to this young love, knowing that it will likely end badly, or keep his distance from Nina’s heart?

“Even though this is a first-person narrative, the protagonist’s emotions are not always direct. For example, at one point John looks into Nina’s eyes and describes what he sees: ‘A shape of truth that came from childish but noble beliefs we have agreed on as adults to call fairness, justice, honesty, happiness.’ John later considers Nina, ‘…a modest perfection inside an immodest imperfection.’”

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A Time to Forget in East Berlin is a dream-like interlude of love and passion in the paranoid and violent life of a Cold War spy.”

~ Matthew Harffy, prolific writer & best-selling historical fiction author of the “Bernicia Chronicles” series

cg fewston

At the heart of modernity, traditions and societies are continuously broken down and dissolved through changes that include a simultaneous union and interplay of remembering and forgetting, which has caused many artists and scholars to point to a “memory crises” because as cultures change so do the practices of what we choose to remember and what we choose to forget.

“A spellbinding tale of love, espionage and intrigue, full of philosophical nuances and charged eroticism. A mesmerising read every bit as intriguing as one of the ‘perhaps bags’ that Fewston describes.”

~ Ian Skewis, Associate Editor for Bloodhound Books, & author of best-selling novel A Murder of Crows (2017)  

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Author Wyatt Semenuk on BookTrib calls A TIME TO FORGET IN EAST BERLIN an “ambitious novel” and “that the book is more than just a poignant story [because] the author reminds us that for many, forgetting is the primary tool by which people use to overcome their pasts.”

You can read Wyatt Semenuk’s interview with CG FEWSTON on BookTrib here.

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“Readers who enjoy poetic prose and descriptions that go beyond an action-oriented or political inspection focus will relish this story — which means that it will reach beyond the usual audience of war fiction epic readers to tug at the hearts of those who may not have anticipated such a compelling blend of descriptive prose and psychological inspection.”

~ D. Donovan, Senior Reviewer, Midwest Book Review

This memory crises and the existential need to remember has been represented in the arts and in literature, with such acclaimed novels by Proust, Joyce, and Mann, among others. Even so, remembering leads to a reconfiguring that can include distortions, gaps, omissions, contradictions. In short, whether we are dealing with the processes of individual or social memories, reflection or reconstruction, the remembering can create the forgetting.

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Letter to the Reader

November 9 is the day that marks the Fall of the Berlin Wall.

In 1989, the world watched as crowds surged out of East Germany and ever towards Freedom. Over the next few weeks, videos emerged of people hacking away at the concrete barrier and dismantling a thing that had long held them captive.

As a ten-year-old kid in a small Texas town, I lay amazed on the floor watching history happen in real time on the television set. Old ways were dying before my eyes, and Change was coming. Back then, many Germans called this “turning point” and this “Change” as “Die Wende” — a Peaceful Revolution.

In my book A TIME TO FORGET IN EAST BERLIN (2022), Nina tells John, “Deep down I know a wende, a change, must happen. Die Gedanken sind frei. My thoughts are free. They can’t expect people to live like we do. Not forever. Can they?”

Die Gedanken sind frei” means “thoughts are free” and it’s also a German song about the “freedom of thought.” Something tells me that this idea is also extremely relevant in today’s America, both physical and virtual — if not the entire world.

There is always something “to learn” and “to think about” by remembering and reliving the past — if only we care enough to take the time to slow down enough to listen, to pay attention, to read carefully, and to actually care about what is being retold to us through those varied stories that concern the past.   

Also in my book, I specifically write about “Vergangenheitsbewӓltigung which can mean “overcoming the past” and it’s also associated with Memory Culture in East Germany after the fall of the communist dictatorship and the fall of the Iron Curtain. It was also a process by which many chose to come to terms with history (personal and national) by choosing to Forget (hence the title of the book).  

Maybe my book is not good enough for some. After all, I’m an imperfect human, a flawed writer. Maybe I failed at what I was trying to accomplish by honoring the past and the memory of a fallen nation and a people who changed forever. But I chose to remember. I chose to allow my thoughts to be free and to create — even if no one reads my book — the act of Memory is in itself a powerful tool in hopes of building a better world.  

Thanks for reading, and I hope you enjoy my new book.

~ C.G.

Nov. 9, 2021

cg fewston

“A spellbinding tale of love and espionage set under the looming shadow of the Berlin Wall in 1975. Its protagonist, John Lockwood, is a hired gun with a philosopher’s nature and a soft underbelly. His innocent yet secretive lover, Nina, is as captivating and intriguing as one of the ‘perhaps bags’ Fewston describes. A mesmerising read full of charged eroticism.”

~ Ian Skewis, Associate Editor for Bloodhound Books, & author of best-selling novel A Murder of Crows (2017)  

A Time to Forget in East Berlin seeks to explore and to challenge the dialectics of remembering and forgetting in a symbolic space where time orders of past and present are constantly recombined.

cg fewston

“The meticulous research is evident on every page, and Fewston’s elegant prose, reminiscent of novels from a bygone era, enhances the sensation that this is a book firmly rooted in another time.”

~ Matthew Harffy, prolific writer & best-selling historical fiction author of the “Bernicia Chronicles” series

The book also seeks to question individual and social memory as part of a cultural quest and discourse that includes cultural memory and cultural symbol systems as forms of meaning construction.

“There’s a lot to absorb in this book of hefty psychological and philosophical observations and insights, but the reader who stays committed will be greatly rewarded.”

~ The Prairies Book Review

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BookView Interview with Author CG FEWSTON

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“Readers who seek multifaceted, compelling stories steeped in social and political inspection and grounded by personal growth will find there is no need to have a prior familiarity with either John’s experience in his Tehran book or with Germany’s history.”

~ D. Donovan, Senior Reviewer, Midwest Book Review

cg fewston

A Time to Forget in East Berlin takes place in the German Democratic Republic (East Germany) in 1975, and also from January 1 to January 5, 1976 as the “Capella” storm ravages northern Europe.

A Time to Forget in East Berlin is the second of three interconnected novels. The first novel A Time to Love in Tehran is set in Iran in 1974, the second novel A Time to Forget in East Berlin is set in East Germany in 1975-1976, and the third novel A Time to Remember in Moscow is set in the Soviet Union in 1977-1979.

If a reader wishes to go deeper into the trilogy’s overarching meanings and metaphors, A Time to Love in Tehran connects to the Garden of Eden, A Time to Forget in East Berlin connects to the Great Flood, and A Time to Remember in Moscow connects to the Redemption.

cg fewston

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~ Contact ~

For media, press, & publicity inquiries or for speaking engagement requests & inquiries: cgfewston [at] gmail [dot] com

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CG (Papa), Thor, Axton (2018)

The American novelist CG FEWSTON has been a Visiting Scholar at the American Academy in Rome (Italy), a Visiting Fellow at Hong Kong’s CityU, & he’s been a member of the Hemingway Society, Americans for the Arts, PEN America, Club Med, & the Royal Society of Literature. He’s also been a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce (RSA) based in London.

He’s the author of several short stories and novels. His works include A Fathers Son (2005), The New America: A Collection (2007), The Mystics Smile ~ A Play in 3 Acts (2007), Vanity of Vanities (2011), A Time to Love in Tehran (2015), Little Hometown, America (2020), and A Time to Forget in East Berlin (2022).

Forthcoming: Conquergood & the Center of the Intelligible Mystery of Being; and, The Endless Endeavor of Excellence.

He has a B.A. in English, an M.Ed. in Higher Education Leadership (honors), an M.A. in Literature (honors), and an M.F.A. in Creative Writing & Fiction. He was born in Texas in 1979.

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