Herta Müller and Others
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From the winner of the IMPAC Award and the Nobel Prize, a fierce novel about a young Romanian woman's discovery of betrayal in the most intimate reaches of her life
"I've been summoned. Thursday, ten sharp." Thus begins one day in the life of a young clothing-factory worker during Ceaucescu's totalitarian regime. She has been questioned before; this time, she believes, will be worse. Her crime? Sewing notes into the linings of men's suits bound for Italy. "Marry me," the notes say, with her name and address. Anything to get out of the country.
As she rides the tram to her interrogation, her thoughts stray to her friend Lilli, shot trying to flee to Hungary, to her grandparents, deported after her first husband informed on them, to Major Albu, her interrogator, who begins each session with a wet kiss on her fingers, and to Paul, her lover, her one source of trust, despite his constant drunkenness. In her distraction, she misses her stop to find herself on an unfamiliar street. And what she discovers there makes her fear of the appointment pale by comparison.
Herta Müller pitilessly renders the humiliating terrors of a crushing regime. Bone-spare and intense, The Appointment confirms her standing as one of Europe's greatest writers.
Publishers Weekly Review
© Publishers Weekly
Herta Müller’s ‘The Appointment’, is a descent into madness brought on by the constant torment of interrogations of the protagonist in a communist country. Müller mixes the interior monologue of a woman taking the tram to her every-other-day appointment with her communist interrogator, with the happenings on her tram, and for 200+ pages, all in one chapter, the reader is imprisoned in this cascading, non-stop internal monologue ending 200+ pages later with the novel’s final sentence, ‘The trick is not to go mad.’ Brilliant.