The Land of Green Plums

A Novel

Herta Müller; Translated by Michael Hofmann

Metropolitan Books

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Set in Romania at the height of Ceauescu's reign of terror, The Land of Green Plums tells the story of a group of young people who leave the impoverished province for the city in search of better prospects and camaraderie. But their hopes are ravaged, because the city, no less than the countryside, bears everywhere the mark of the dictatorship's corrosive touch. All the narrator's friends—teachers and students of vaguely dissident allegiance—betray her, do away with themselves, or both. As they do so, we see the way the totalitarian state comes to inhabit every human realm and how everyone, even the strongest, must either bend to the oppressors or resist them and thereby perish.
Herta Müller, herself a survivor of Ceausescu's police state, speaks from intimate experience. Scene by scene, in language at once harsh and poetic, she constructs a devastating picture of a society and a generation ruined by fear. In simple images of hieroglyphic power—policeman filling their pockets and mouths with green plums; girls sleeping with abattoir workers for bags of offal; a docile proletariat making things no one wants—"tin sheep and wooden watermelons"—Müller anatomizes a country and its citizens and the corruption that has rotted the core of both.

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About the Author

Herta Müller; Translated by Michael Hofmann

Born in Romania in 1953, Herta Müller lost her job as a teacher and suffered repeated threats after refusing to cooperate with Ceausescu's Secret Police. She succeeded in emigrating in 1987 and now lives in Berlin. The recipient of the European Literature Prize, she won the International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award for The Land of Green Plums.

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Available Formats and Book Details

The Land of Green Plums
A Novel
Herta Müller; Translated by Michael Hofmann

Award

International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award - Winner

Hardcover

Hardcover
Henry Holt and Co.
Metropolitan Books
November 1996
Hardcover
ISBN: 9780805042955
ISBN10: 0805042954
5 1/2 x 8 1/4 inches, 256 pages
$25.00

Trade Paperback

Trade Paperback
Picador
November 2010
Trade Paperback
ISBN: 9780312429942
ISBN10: 0312429940
5 1/2 x 8 1/4 inches, 272 pages
$16.00
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