The Passport

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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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User Review  - Ameise1 - LibraryThing

This is the story of Windisch and his family who want to leave dictatorial Romania and need passports. It shows the deep abundance of this region as well as the corruption and the powerlessness ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - DieFledermaus - LibraryThing

While this book was depressing, it wasn’t quite as soul-crushing as her collection of short stories, Nadirs. However, I found I didn’t think it was as good as Nadirs, which was effective in its way ... 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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