Marcel Beyer's third novel Spione [Spies, 2000] is preceded by a few lines from Astrid Lindgren's children's book The Tomten [Tomte Tummetott, 1960] in which children are visited by a silent, old troll named Tomten during winter nights while they are asleep. Only small footprints in the snow attest to his existence. The children's wish to actually see and spy upon this magical creature remains unfulfilled since they never wake up when he appears. They can only imagine and dream about him. Beyer's novel also introduces children who want to gain knowledge about a person they have never met, namely their grandmother, who died in the late 1950s. Since neither a picture of her nor …
Mundt, Hannelore G.. "Spione". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 05 January 2010; last revised 30 November -1.
[http://www.litencyc.com/php/sworks.php?rec=true&UID=28515, accessed 21 April 2015.]