The Passport

Front Cover
Serpent's Tail, 1989 - Fiction - 93 pages

From the winner of the 2009 Nobel Prize in Literature!

"[The Passport] has the same clipped prose cadences as Nadirs, this time applied to evoke the trapped mentality of a man so desperate for freedom that he views everything through a temporal lens, like a prisoner staring at a calendar in his cell."--Wall Street Journal

"A swift, stinging narrative, fable-like in its stoic concision and painterly detail."--The Philadelphia Inquirer

The Passport is a beautiful, haunting novel whose subject is a German village in Romania caught between the stifling hopelessness of Ceausescu'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 (Herta Mueller) 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, Muller captures the forlorn plight of a trapped people.

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - MarthaJeanne - LibraryThing

I did not enjoy this book. But if you want to read a book to practice your German, this one is by a Nobel Prize winner, is short, and is in very simple German. If the German title makes sense to you, maybe the book will, too. Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - dchaikin - LibraryThing

There is a lot here in this little book. There is the whole dark 20th-century history of the Banat Swabians* hanging in the background, in the shadows, yet overshadowing everything. And there is the ... Read full review


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About the author (1989)

Herta Muller is the winner of the 2009 Nobel Prize for Literature. She was born in Romania in 1953. After refusing to cooperate with Ceausescu's Securitate, she lost her job as a teacher and suffered repeated threats before she was able to emigrate in 1987. She is the author of The Passport (1989) and Children of Ceausescu (2002) among other publications, and is the winner of Germany's most prestigious literary award, The Kleist Prize. Herta Muller now lives in Berlin

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