Book Of A Lifetime: A Perfect Spy, By John le Carré

When writing a recent novel, I spent time thinking about the concept of identity; the idea that people can fool not just their close associates, but even themselves, and literally become the person they believe they are. It became increasingly clear to me that nobody ever really knows another person. And my mind kept returning to John le Carré's 'A Perfect Spy', where the world of spies and double-spies becomes a metaphor for the treachery of the human heart, where identity can become lost and confused in a web of hidden corridors.

Choice investment: Berlin offers a burgeoning professional rental sector and vibrant cultural life

Berlin moves up on Europe's more lauded capitals

The appeal of property in Germany's premier city is outstripping London and Paris

Wolf in 1978: she was one of the few who called for the preservation of an East German state

Christa Wolf: Writer whose hard-won reputation suffered when her Stasi links surfaced

Christa Wolf was one of the most important contemporary German authors: an East German writer whose popularity spanned both German states; a constant critic of the socialist regime, who chose not abandon the larger socialist project. "I loved this country," she said of the German Democratic Republic, to her contemporary and friend Günter Grass, after it ceased to exist. She was a member of what she called a "broken generation": one that grew up under the shadow of Nazism and experienced the foundation of the GDR as the promise of a truly humane society, but then also lived to see it fail.

Berlin honours those who died crossing the Wall

As church bells toll, mayor condemns 'nostalgia' for symbol of 'dictatorship'

Berlin remembers its wall of history

Fifty years after construction began on the barrier that defined the Cold War, Germans are looking back with mixed feelings on the rise and fall of the Berlin Wall. Tony Paterson reports

50 years since Berlin Wall went up

Exactly half a century has passed since construction began on the Berlin Wall, a symbolic reminder of Germany’s troubled past.

Honecker was forced to resign by secret police

Stasi chief held file revealing East German premier's Nazi links

A Day That Shook The World: Construction begins on the Berlin Wall

On 20 August 1961, East German soldiers suddenly began work on a project that would become the most potent symbol of the divisions of the Cold War: the Berlin Wall.

Fury over 'shoot-to-kill' online Berlin Wall game

A computer game that casts players as guards who can shoot and kill people trying to flee across the former heavily fortified border between East and West Germany and the Berlin Wall has attracted a huge following and caused the internet server offering online versions to partially collapse.

Gerhard Beil: Politician who helped bring down the Berlin Wall

Gerhard Beil appeared to be as calm as he sat, with two others, at the historic press conference on 9 November 1989 at which their senior colleague, Günter Schabowski, answered a question about when the Berlin Wall and the GDR's frontiers would be opened.

The Secret Lives of Buildings, By Edward Hollis

Likened to the novels of WG Sebald but also reminiscent of Borges and Calvino, Hollis's fairy-tale accounts of 13 buildings from the Parthenon via Hagia Sophia and Notre Dame to the Berlin Wall was long-listed for the Samuel Johnson prize.

Berlin Wall shooting game draws criticism

A German student has created a computer game giving players a taste of life as an East German border guard shooting political fugitives fleeing to the West, to the outrage of victims' relatives.

Leading article: The barest hint of change

Delegates from all over North Korea will meet in the capital, Pyongyang, tomorrow to elect a new top leadership body. The expectation – and, given the secrecy that prevails, it can be no more than that – is that the special conference will name a successor to the present leader, Kim Jong-il, who is believed to have suffered a stroke several months ago, and pave the way for one of Kim's sons, possibly the third, 27-year old Kim Jong-un, to become heir apparent.

The Germans who want the Wall back

Residents of an exclusive neighbourhood are rebuilding parts of the Communists' most notorious structure

49-years since the Berlin Wall went up

It is exactly 49-years tomorrow since the Berlin Wall was constructed by the German Democratic Republic, drawing Soviet-occupied East Berlin away from the half of the city occupied by America, Britain and France, and firmly behind the iron curtain.

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All this talk of an ‘apocalyptic’ threat is simply childish

Robert Fisk: All this talk of an ‘apocalyptic’ threat is simply childish

Chuck Hagel and Martin Dempsey were pure Hollywood. They only needed Tom Cruise
Mafia Dons: is the Camorra in control of the Granite City?

Mafia Dons: is the Camorra in control of the Granite City?

So claims an EU report which points to the Italian Mob’s alleged grip on everything from public works to property
Emmys look set to overhaul the Oscars as Hollywood’s prize draw

Emmys look set to overhaul the Oscars as Hollywood’s prize draw

Once the poor relation, the awards show now has the top stars and boasts the best drama
What happens to African migrants once they land in Italy during the summer?

What happens to migrants once they land in Italy?

Memphis Barker follows their trail through southern Europe
French connection: After 1,300 years, there’s a bridge to Mont Saint-Michel

French connection: After 1,300 years, there’s a bridge to Mont Saint-Michel

The ugly causeway is being dismantled, an elegant connection erected in its place. So everyone’s happy, right?
Frank Mugisha: Uganda's most outspoken gay rights activist on changing people's attitudes, coming out, and the threat of being attacked

Frank Mugisha: 'Coming out was a gradual process '

Uganda's most outspoken gay rights activist on changing people's attitudes, coming out, and the threat of being attacked
Radio 1 to hire 'YouTube-famous' vloggers to broadcast online

Radio 1’s new top ten

The ‘vloggers’ signed up to find twentysomething audience
David Abraham: Big ideas for the small screen

David Abraham: Big ideas for the small screen

A blistering attack on US influence on British television has lifted the savvy head of Channel 4 out of the shadows
Florence Knight's perfect picnic: Make the most of summer's last Bank Holiday weekend

Florence Knight's perfect picnic

Polpetto's head chef shares her favourite recipes from Iced Earl Grey tea to baked peaches, mascarpone & brown sugar meringues...
Horst P Horst: The fashion photography genius who inspired Madonna comes to the V&A

Horst P Horst comes to the V&A

The London's museum has delved into its archives to stage a far-reaching retrospective celebrating the photographer's six decades of creativity
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Mark Hix's summery soups

Soup isn’t just about comforting broths and steaming hot bowls...
Tim Sherwood column: 'It started as a three-horse race but turned into the Grand National'

Tim Sherwood column

I would have taken the Crystal Palace job if I’d been offered it soon after my interview... but the whole process dragged on so I had to pull out
Eden Hazard: Young, gifted... not yet perfect

Eden Hazard: Young, gifted... not yet perfect

Eden Hazard admits he is still below the level of Ronaldo and Messi but, after a breakthrough season, is ready to thrill Chelsea’s fans
Tim Howard: I’m an old dog. I don’t get too excited

Tim Howard: I’m an old dog. I don’t get too excited

The Everton and US goalkeeper was such a star at the World Cup that the President phoned to congratulate him... not that he knows what the fuss is all about
Match of the Day at 50: Show reminds us that even the most revered BBC institution may have a finite lifespan – thanks to the opposition

Tom Peck on Match of the Day at 50

The show reminds us that even the most revered BBC institution may have a finite lifespan – thanks to the opposition