Just started Child of All Nations by Irmgard Keun.
First off Dr Rick is talking to us about it. It's translated by Michael Hofmann so (of course) Dr Rick wants a copy. Then I read about the author in the Guardian. And now the book...
...excellent so far.
Child narrator, but don't let that put you off. Peniless writer father obsessed with books. Europe, gently collapsing into WW2.
"My father came back very late, because he met a policeman on the way. He made friends with the policeman...and then the two of them went off together to have a drink. As my father couldn't pay, he had to call the poet Fiedler, who's staying in Brussels for the time being, and who doesn't have any money either. And then Herr Fiedler came along, plus a bookseller who worships my father, and he agreed to lend him seventy francs. My mother and I had fallen asleep sadly in the window when my father made his happy return."