The Passport

The Passport

3.6 15
by Herta Muller
     
 

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Winner of the Nobel Prize for Literature.

"With the concentration of poetry and the frankness of prose, Muller depicts the language of the dispossessed."—Jury of the Nobel Prize for Literature

"[Müller’s] dark, closely observed and sometimes violent work often explores exile and the grim quotidian realities of life under Ceausescu. . . . Her

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Overview

Winner of the Nobel Prize for Literature.

"With the concentration of poetry and the frankness of prose, Muller depicts the language of the dispossessed."—Jury of the Nobel Prize for Literature

"[Müller’s] dark, closely observed and sometimes violent work often explores exile and the grim quotidian realities of life under Ceausescu. . . . Her sensibility is often bleak, but the detail in her fiction can whip it alive."—New York Times

The Passport is a beautiful, haunting novel whose subject is a German village in Romania caught between the stifling hopelessness of Ceaucescu's dictatorship and the glittering temptations of the West. Stories from the past are woven together with the problems Windisch, the village miller, faces after he applies for permission to migrate to West Germany. Herta Müller describes with poetic attention the dreams and superstitions, conflicts and oppression of a forgotten region, the Banat, in the Danube Plain. In sparse, poetic language, Müller captures the forlorn plight of a trapped people.

Herta Müller was born in Timis, Romania in 1953. A vocal member of the German minority, she was forced to leave the country in 1987, and moved to Berlin, where she still lives. In 2009 she won the Nobel Prize for Literature.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
This English-language debut by a Romanian-born West Berliner is remarkable for its stylistic purity. Muller's angry tale of an ethnic German anxious to emigrate from his stultifying Romanian village is relayed in deceptively straightforward sentences (``Katharina had sold her winter coat for ten slices of bread. Her stomach was a hedgehog. Every day Katharina picked a bunch of grass. The grass soup was warm and good'') that pile up in striking patterns (later, ``the second snow came. . . . The hedgehog stabbed''). Intently focused prose animates the parochial town with its corrupt power brokers, gamey folk songs and a tree reputed to have eaten its own apples, as well as the problematic relations among the central character, his embittered wife and their nubile daughter, who, like her mother before her during the war, is forced to grant sexual favors to men of privilege. (Jan.)

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781442078840
Publisher:
Baker & Taylor, CATS
Publication date:
11/10/2009

Meet the Author

Herta Müller was born in Timis, Romania in 1953. A vocal member of the German minority, she was forced to leave the country in 1987, and moved to Berlin, where she still lives. In 2009 she won the Nobel Prize for Literature.

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