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The Hunger Angel

Translated from the original German into English
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ABOUT
THE BOOK

It was an icy morning in January 1945 when the patrol came for seventeen-year-old Leo Auberg to deport him to a camp in the Soviet Union. Leo would spend the next five years in a coke processing plant, shoveling coal, lugging bricks, mixing mortar, and battling the relentless calculus of hunger that governed the labor colony: one shovel load of coal is worth one gram of bread.

In The Hunger Angel, Nobel laureate Herta Müller calls upon her unique combination of poetic intensity and dispassionate precision to conjure the distorted world of the labor camp in all its physical and moral absurdity. She has given Leo the language to express the inexpressible, as hunger sharpens his senses into an acuity that is both hallucinatory and profound. In scene after disorienting scene, the most ordinary objects accrue tender poignancy as they acquire new purpose – a gramophone box serves as a suitcase, a handkerchief becomes a talisman, an enormous piece of casing pipe functions as a lovers’ trysting place. The heart is reduced to a pump, the breath mechanized to the rhythm of a swinging shovel, and coal, sand, and snow have a will of their own. Hunger becomes an insatiable angel who haunts the camp, but also a bare-knuckled sparring partner, delivering blows that keep Leo feeling the rawest connection to life.

Müller has distilled Leo’s struggle into words of breathtaking intensity that take us on a journey far beyond the Gulag and into the depths of one man’s soul.

 

ABOUT
THE AUTHOR Herta
Müller

Herta Müller is the winner of the 2009 Nobel Prize in Literature, as well as the 1998 International Dublin Literary Award and the European Literature Prize. She is the author of, among other books, The Hunger Angel and The Land of Green Plums. Born in Romania in 1953, Müller lost her job as a teacher and suffered repeated threats after refusing to cooperate with Ceausescu’s secret police. She succeeded in emigrating in 1987 and now lives in Berlin.

Herta Müller is the winner of the 2009 Nobel Prize in Literature, as well as the 1998 International Dublin Literary Award and the European Literature Prize. She is the author of, among other books, The Hunger Angel and The Land of Green Plums. Born in Romania in 1953, Müller lost her job as a teacher and suffered repeated threats after refusing to cooperate with Ceausescu’s secret police. She succeeded in emigrating in 1987 and now lives in Berlin.

ABOUT
THE TRANSLATOR Philip
Boehm

Philip Boehm was born in 1958 in Texas. He studied at Wesleyan University, Washington University in St. Louis, and the State Academy of Theatre in Warsaw. He is not only a lauded literary translator of works from Polish and German into English, but he is also an accomplished playwright and director. Boehm is the co-founder of the Upstream Theatre in St. Louis. The theatre is known for its productions of works from international authors.
Philip Boehm was born in 1958 in Texas. He studied at Wesleyan University, Washington University in St. Louis, and the State Academy of Theatre in Warsaw. He is not only a lauded literary translator of works from Polish and German into English, but he is also an accomplished playwright and director. Boehm is the co-founder of the Upstream Theatre in St. Louis. The theatre is known for its productions of works from international authors.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

Date published
01/08/2013
Country
Germany
Original Language
German
Author
Publisher
Metropolitan Books
Translator
Philip Boehm
Translation
Translated from the original German into English

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