- Published: 02/03/2017
- ISBN: 9781846274770
- 256 pages
The Fox Was Ever the Hunter
Translated by Philip Boehm
Romania, the last months of the dictator’s regime. Adina is a young schoolteacher. Paul is a musician. Clara, Adina’s friend, works in a wire factory. Pavel is Clara’s lover. But one of them works for the secret police and is reporting on the group.
One day Adina returns home to discover that her fox fur rug has had its tail cut off. On another day, a hindleg. Then a foreleg. The mutilation is a sign that she is being tracked – the fox was ever the hunter.
Images of photographic precision combine to form a kaleidoscope of reflections, deflections and deceit. Adina and her friends struggle to keep living in a world permeated with fear, where even the eyes of a cat seem complicit with the watchful eye of the state, and where it’s hard to tell the victim apart from the perpetrator.
Extraordinary... Muller lays bare the totalitarian attack on the individual and the everyday horror of life under a repressive regime. There is a cinematic intensity to the narrative... This ethereal, other-worldly atmosphere gradually gives way to the horrors of a more defined reality... The mounting tension made tangible by such scenes is felt most intensely in Muller's language. Short, clipped sentences accumulate, overlapping and building into a noisy, symphonic whole... A profoundly unsettling novel, which renders palpable the cruelty of life under the regime, as well as the brittle exhilarations of its overthrow
Charlotte Ryland, TLS
Her prose - as poetic as it is blunt -works like a prism, shattering and illuminating a world that is always watching, waiting. [A] dark collage, which glints with fear - and with beauty
Poetic [and] haunting... deftly rendered by Philip Boehm... In her writing, Müller inches closer to narrowing the gap between people and things, between life and language
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.
Fiction | Granta 125
Always the Same Snow and Always the Same Uncle
‘Who knows: what I write I must eat, what I don’t write – eats me.’
Fiction | Granta 134
The Way of the Apple Worm
‘The mother of the needle is the place that bleeds.’