Monika Maron is a German writer and journalist who is best known for her novel "Flugasche", a critique of the GDR. Born in Berlin on 3 June 1941, she graduated from high school in 1951, worked for a year as a miller in an aircraft factory and then as an assistant director for GDR television until 1961. She then began her studies in theatre and art history in East Berlin in 1962. After graduating, she worked as a journalist from 1971 to 1976, first for the women's magazine "Für Dich" and then for the "Wochenpost", before becoming a freelance writer in 1976. Maron was also a liaison officer for the Ministry of State Security. After ceasing to cooperate with the Ministry in 1978, she was under surveillance until her departure for Hamburg in 1988. Since the publication of Flugasche in 1981, Monika Maron has written more than ten novels and other collections of essays and short stories. Maron has received numerous prizes, including the Kleist Prize, the Irmgard Heilmann Prize for Literature (1990), the Hanau City Grimm Brothers Prize (1991), the German National Prize (2009) and the Lessing Prize of the Free State of Saxony (2010).