The Leipzig Affair

The year is 1985. East Germany is in the grip of communism. Magda, a brilliant but disillusioned young linguist, is desperate to flee to the West. When a black market deal brings her into contact with Robert, a young Scot studying at Leipzig University, she sees a way to realise her escape plans. But as Robert falls in love with her, he stumbles into a complex world of shifting half-truths – one that will undo them both.

Many years later, long after the Berlin Wall has been torn down, Robert returns to Leipzig in search of answers. Can he track down the elusive Magda? And will the past give up its secrets?


Translator and writer Fiona Rintoul

Fiona Rintoul

Fiona Rintoul is a writer, journalist and translator. Her first novel, The Leipzig Affair, was published in November 2014 to coincide with the 25th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall. The Leipzig Affair won the 2013 Virginia prize for the Best New Fiction by a Woman Writing in English and was short-listed for the 2015 Saltire First Book of the Year Award. In March 2015, it was serialised on BBC Radio 4’s Book at Bedtime.

Fiona’s writing has previously appeared in anthologies and magazines, and she is a past winner of the Gillian Purvis New Writing Award and the Sceptre Prize. Outside Verdun, her new translation of Arnold Zweig’s first world war classic, Erziehung vor Verdun, was published in May 2014 by Freight Books.

Fiona has a particular interest in Germany and is a past participant in the IJP George Weidenfeld British and German journalists’ exchange programme.