From Library Journal
M?ller, who won the International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award for The Land of Green Plums, is considered one of the most gifted contemporary German-language writers, a claim this newly translated collection of stories would seem to prove. Once again, M?ller takes us back to Communist Romania. But unlike her previous work, Nadirs is a very personal book, as much about M?ller's own family sagas as it is about the inescapable scars of communism. Perhaps the most pertinent word to describe this dainty collection is contradictionAthe narratives portray what is real and undeniable in a surreal and almost absurd way, yet the seemingly unadorned storytelling demands the maximum concentration from the reader. Originally published in German ten years ago, this book was well worth the wait; it is an important achievement in contemporary Eastern European literature.AMirela Roncevic, "Library Journal"
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc.
Muller has sewn together a collection of semiautobiographical stories of her bleak childhood in Romania. Poverty, sickness, isolation, and sexual promiscuity run throughout the stories. Her family and community fear God, inherit and pass on superstitions, and gossip endlessly. Muller presents stark portraits of life on small farms in Romania. At times the stories are hard to follow, but Muller's girl narrator is just as confused, trying to piece together nightmares, dreams, and memories of her heartbreaking home life. She feels isolated from her parents, while the village keeps its distance from the family with rumors of illegitimacy. The German-speaking village itself is an island within Romania. The author does allow her narrator to escape the countryside, only to live in the ridged confusion of city life. This is not a sentimental book, but Muller's keen sense of showing rural life as opposed to describing it makes this a very emotional and disturbing one. Michelle Kaske
--This text refers to the