The Land of Green Plums

Happy Halloween!

You know what ‘s really scary? How much I’ve neglected my blog. But I’m back!

On to a quickie review:

The Land of Green Plums
Herat Müller

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I’ve been wanting to read something by Herta Müller since she won the Nobel Prize in 2009. I bought this book at least a year ago, and finally got around to it.

The book is about a group of young people growing up in Romania under the communist Ceausescu regime. Much of the narrative is veiled and indirectly stated, much like the coded letters the narrator sends her three friends.

They are under suspicion of something – what is not exactly clear. That’s the point, though. No one is safe, any stray word or joke pointed at the wrong person or interest in anything not sanctioned by the state meant you could be hauled in for questioning – or worse – at any time. Applying for a passport to leave the county was like playing Russian roulette. An “accident” might befall you when you were on the train, or at your hotel, or…

My copy of the novel comes with the text if Müller’s Nobel Prize lecture. I haven’t read it yet, but I’m looking forward to it.

Some favorite quotes:

“No cities can grow in a dictatorship, because everything stays small when it’s being watched.”

“We looked for things that would set us apart because we read books.”

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