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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The village was originally named Llansanffraid-ym-Mechain after the Celtic female Saint Brigit, but the name was changed 150 years ago to Llansantffraid – a decision which suggests the incorrect gender of the saint
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Italian couples fake UK divorce scam on an ‘industrial scale’

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A look at the the legal tourists who exploited our liberal dissolution rules
Time to stop running: At the start of Yom Kippur and with anti-Semitism flourishing, one Jew can no longer ignore his identity

Time to stop running

At the start of Yom Kippur and with anti-Semitism flourishing, one Jew can no longer ignore his identity
Tom and Jerry cartoons now carry a 'racial prejudice' warning on Amazon

Tom and Jerry cartoons now carry a 'racial prejudice' warning on Amazon

The vintage series has often been criticised for racial stereotyping
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An app for the amorous

Could Good2Go end disputes about sexual consent - without being a passion-killer?
Llansanffraid is now Llansantffraid. Welsh town changes its name, but can you spot the difference?

Llansanffraid is now Llansantffraid

Welsh town changes its name, but can you spot the difference?
Charlotte Riley: At the peak of her powers

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After a few early missteps with Chekhov, her acting career has taken her to Hollywood. Next up is a role in the BBC’s gangster drama ‘Peaky Blinders’
She's having a laugh: Britain's female comedians have never had it so good

She's having a laugh

Britain's female comedians have never had it so good, says stand-up Natalie Haynes
Sistine Chapel to ‘sing’ with new LED lights designed to bring Michelangelo’s masterpiece out of the shadows

Let there be light

Sistine Chapel to ‘sing’ with new LEDs designed to bring Michelangelo’s masterpiece out of the shadows
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Tensions rise in Bake Off's pastry week

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A look to the future

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Arsenal vs Galatasaray: Five things we learnt from the Emirates

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Stuart Lancaster’s long-term deal makes sense – a rarity for a decision taken by the RFU

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This deal gives England a head-start to prepare for 2019 World Cup, says Chris Hewett
Ebola outbreak: The children orphaned by the virus – then rejected by surviving relatives over fear of infection

The children orphaned by Ebola...

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Pride: Are censors pandering to homophobia?

Are censors pandering to homophobia?

US film censors have ruled 'Pride' unfit for under-16s, though it contains no sex or violence