Traveling on One Leg

Traveling on One Leg

by Herta Muller
     
 

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Winner, 2009 Nobel Prize in Literature 
 
Irene is a fragile woman born to a German family in Romania, who has recently emigrated from her native country to West Germany. Politically and socially isolated, Irene moves within the orbit of three troubled men, while simultaneously embarking on an inner exploration of exile, homeland, and identity.
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Overview

Winner, 2009 Nobel Prize in Literature 
 
Irene is a fragile woman born to a German family in Romania, who has recently emigrated from her native country to West Germany. Politically and socially isolated, Irene moves within the orbit of three troubled men, while simultaneously embarking on an inner exploration of exile, homeland, and identity.

Editorial Reviews

William Ferguson
The action in this volume may be slight, but Irene's innermost consciousness -- where the political has indeed become the personal -- is magnificently portrayed. -- The New York Times Book Review
Kirkus Reviews
The first English translation of an earlier work (published in 1992) from the acclaimed Müller (The Land of Green Plums) is a profound story of dislocation: an exile from Romania struggles to find her bearings in Berlin just before the end of the Cold War. Even in her native land, Irene was already something of a stranger, taking long walks by the sea partly because she knew there would be an old man, waiting in the bushes, who would masturbate while looking at her. A chance encounter on the beach with a young, drunken German provides her with someone she knows when she crosses the border for good, but Franz, fearful of commitment, can't bear to meet her at the airport, sending his friend Stefan to make the connection instead. While Irene endures the scrutiny of German bureaucrats before receiving relocation aid and citizenship, she also suffers a malaise of the heart brought on by the mixed messages of Franz, Stefan, and, finally Stefan's friend Thomas, who, though the most responsive to her, is also bisexual. Irene settles into a routine in her new Berlin apartment, a routine regularly punctuated by visits to or visits from her men and supplemented by her daily observations of the beer-bellied construction worker who labors on the scaffolding outside her window. It's a life of waiting, of anomie and despair, but for all that it's the bitterness of such an existence that she keenly feels and sharply observes. Through it all, Irene knows she will endure.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780810127067
Publisher:
Northwestern University Press
Publication date:
03/30/2010
Edition description:
1
Pages:
149
Sales rank:
1,103,001
Product dimensions:
5.40(w) x 8.40(h) x 0.50(d)

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