Latvia

Atemschaukel

© Mag/EtöDace Rukšāne
The Hunger Angel
In: LILIT 06.2011


© Apgāds Zvaigzne ABCWith my hand on my heart, I can say one thing for sure: I am not one of those people who love to read literature about historically difficult times, about subjects that promise to be full of experiences of suffering before you even start to read them. I am entirely of the view that one should be familiar with history and should not ignore the past, because if roots that are not watered dry out, the tree, too, dies right up to the treetop. But I do like to choose very carefully how I am confronted with history. Nobel Prize winner Herta Müller’s novel The Hunger Angel, published by Zvaigzne ABC Publishers, on the other hand, is one of those books that are a genuine pleasure to read. Readers virtually experience the events of the novel themselves, and it leaves a deep, lasting impression. The book is based on a true story, the fate of a Romanian detained in a labour camp in the post-war USSR. What is particularly significant is the fact that the narrator was a poet – only someone with a different perception and world view can recall such fine and special details. This book is like a poem, every sentence is a work of art. But do not let that put you off – there is nothing difficult there, not a trace of condescension, affectation or stylised posing. This is a genuinely beautiful, melancholy and above all direct, very direct novel.

Herta Müller
Elpas šūpoles (original title: Atemschaukel)
Translation: Silvija Brice.
Rīga : Apgāds Zvaigzne ABC, 2011
ISBN 978-9934-0-1171-9