NADIRS by Herta Müller


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paper 0-8032-8254-0 Nadirs ($35.00; paper $13.00; Sept. 8; 134 pp.; 0-8032-3197-0; paper 0-8032-8254-0): This 1982 collection of 15 related stories—the first book published by the Romanian-born author of The Land of Green Plums (1996), etc.—is an episodic history of Romanian village life under Communist domination; a child’s-eye view of family unhappiness and conflict symbolic of larger disturbances (most vividly presented in the long title story), juxtaposing painful personal history (“The Funeral Sermon”) against more generalized images of irrepressible sexuality and violence both in human beings and in the natural world (“Rotten Pears,” “The Man with the Matchbox”). MÅller is a fearless writer, whose tales are steeped in ugly confrontational detail; one thinks, here and there, of Jerzy Kosinski’s The Painted Bird, but Nadirs (so named for the “low lands” that are its specific locale) is a work of striking originality and power.

Pub Date: Sept. 8th, 1999
ISBN: 0-8032-3197-0
Page count: 134pp
Publisher: Univ. of Nebraska
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1st, 1999


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