- Published: 07/07/2011
- ISBN: 9781846273766
- 224 pages
Translated by Michael Hulse, Philip Boehm
‘I’ve been summoned, Thursday, ten sharp.‘ So begins one day in the life of a young clothing-factory worker during Ceausescu’s totalitarian regime. She has been questioned before, but this time she knows it 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 while 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 and the one person she can trust. In her distraction, she misses her stop and finds herself on an unfamiliar street.And what she discovers there suddenly puts her fear of the appointment into chilling perspective.
Bone-spare and intense, The Appointment is a pitiless rendering of the terrors of a crushing regime.
A brooding, fog-shrouded allegory of life under the long oppression of the regime of Nicolae Ceausescu.
New York Times
Nobody since Arthur Koestler in the 1940s has written more intelligently or with such subtle precision about life under totalitarianism ... Müller has an exceptionally rare talent - to turn the terrifying, the distorted and the hideously ugly into something uplifting and beautiful
Herta Muller is a passionate artist of protest.
Eileen Battersby, Irish Times
From the Same Author
The Land Of Green Plums
The Hunger Angel
Cristina and Her Double
Herta Müller on Granta.com
Essays & Memoir | The Online Edition
Words in the Head and Words in the Sentence
‘During an interrogation speech glows hot in the mouth, and what is spoken freezes.’
Herta Müller on language. Translated from the German by Philip Boehm.
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Always the Same Snow and Always the Same Uncle
‘Who knows: what I write I must eat, what I don’t write – eats me.’
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‘The mother of the needle is the place that bleeds.’