Like the narrator of her novel The Land of Green Plums, Herta Muller grew up a German minority in Ceausescu's Romania, which she eventually left to settle in Germany. Her own experience lends credibility to the voice of her young narrator, who inhabits a deprived police state in which minorities such as the ethnic Germans suffer persecution beyond the quotidian oppressions of Ceausescu's regime. The title refers to the young woman's observations of the swaggering policemen who wolf down plums from the city trees, even while they're still green; the act serves as a symbol of greed, arbitrary power, and stupidity. Although an element of the story is survival, achieved by clinging to the German culture and language, the novel also confronts the older characters' sympathy with the Nazis. Nevertheless, Muller's fictional heroine finds salvation, as she herself did, in modern Germany. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Five Romanian youths under the Ceausescu regime are the focus of this moving depiction of the struggle to become adults who keep "eyes wide open and tightly shut at the same time." Through the suicide of a mutual friend, the unnamed narrator?a young woman studying to become a translator?meets a trio of young men with whom she shares a subjugated political and philosophic rebelliousness. The jobs the state assigns them after graduation pull each to a different quadrant of the country, and this, as well as the narrator's new friendship with the daughter of a prominent Party member, strains their relations. The group manages to maintain its closeness anyway, through coded letters bearing strands of the sender's hair as a tamper-warning. As the friends begin to lose their jobs and grow weary of being followed, threatened and pulled in for semi-regular interrogations, each one thinks increasingly about escape. Terrifyingly, the narrator finds herself changing into a stranger: "someone who keeps company with misery, to make sure it stays put." Making her American debut, Muller is well-served by the workmanlike translation; though her lyrical writing falters badly at times (such as the baffling, repeated metaphor that gives the book its title), it also soars to rarefied heights. Most importantly, few books have conveyed with such clarity the convergence of terror and boredom under totalitarianism.
Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Recently I read a devastating novel, The Land of Green Plums, by Romanian-born German writer Herta Müller (17 August 1953-), and have been haunted by the unbearable hard life... Read morePublished 1 month ago by Helios
Could not read past page 10. Would like to think the translation was lacking, but it was so painful to decipher what she was trying to say.Published 6 months ago by Anna Frost
The Land of Green Plums is a partly-autobiographical novel set in Romania under the harsh rule of the dictator Nicolae Ceaușescu. Read morePublished 16 months ago by Steven Davis
Sometimes a book is written that is so awfully it deserves a Nobel Prize. This is the case of The Land of Green Plums. Read morePublished 18 months ago by Jon
This book is written in the same style as The Appointment, for which I have already written a review. Read morePublished 20 months ago by LaurentG
The novel is written in staccato-like short sentences, with returning motives and statements. The result is actually a sort of perpetually nervous but colorful melodiousness. Read morePublished 22 months ago by Witold
The theme of the novel is the miasma of the ever-present fear that people felt in Ceauºescu's Romania, particularly the approximately eighteen year old narrator and the three young... Read morePublished on December 6, 2012 by Ralph Blumenau
I confess that this is my first Herta Müller novel, and I was at first pulled in by the strange lyricism of her voice as well as the obliqueness of her symbolism. Read morePublished on September 14, 2012 by Steiner
Grounded in her personal experiences, this poetic and fragmented novella The Land of Green Plums: A Novelhas a staccato beat worthy of a shower scene in Hitchcock's thrillers. Read morePublished on June 19, 2012 by Joseph Psotka