Klaus is a novella that recounts the last days of Klaus Mann's life, while referring back to the trials of the Mann family (Klaus being Thomas Mann's son) and Klaus's own autobiographical novel, Mephisto, one of his better known works partly because it was banned in West Germany for decades. This unlocks his relationship with both his father and his former lover, Gustaf, who was a communist before collaborating with the Nazi regime and becoming one of its most celebrated actors. On his return to Germany after the war, Klaus was outraged to see that Gustaf had now switched seamlessly to the post-war regime, and was once more the darling of the theatre world. Klaus, who had been isolated as both a homosexual and an anti-fascist, felt that Germans or rather those Germans in prominent positions were refusing to acknowledge their culpability. His isolation was now complete.