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The Appointment

A Novel

Herta Müller; Translated by Michael Hulse & Philip Boehm

Picador

From the winner of the Nobel Prize in literature and the International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award, The Appointment is 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. She is charged with sewing notes into the linings of men's suits bound for Italy. She writes "Marry me" on slips of paper and provides her name and address; she'll do 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 terrors of a crushing regime. Bone-spare and intense, The Appointment confirms her standing as one of Europe's greatest writers.

BOOK EXCERPTS

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I’ve been summoned. Thursday, at ten sharp.

Lately I’m being summoned more and more often: ten sharp

on Tuesday, ten sharp on Saturday, on Wednesday, Monday. As

if years were a week, I’m amazed that winter comes so close on

the heels of late summer.

On my way to the tram stop, I again pass the shrubs with the

white berries dangling through the fences. Like buttons made

of mother-of-pearl and sewn from underneath, or stitched right

down into the earth, or else like bread pellets. They remind me

of a flock of little
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REVIEWS

Praise for The Appointment

“A brooding, fog-shrouded allegory of life under the long oppression of the regime of Nicolae Ceausescu.” —The New York Times

“A slim, masterfully written tale.” —Newsweek

“A taut and brilliant book.” —Chicago Tribune

“Powerful...Müller achieves something beautiful. She has wrested poetry from one woman’s desire to remain human in an inhuman system.”—Newsday

“Müller scatters narrative bombshells across a field of dreams.” —San Francisco Chronicle

“With terse poetry, Müller brings to life a profoundly moving world...the lyrical beauty of the prose and its unflinching moral and emotional honesty carry the reader.” —Bookforum

Reviews from Goodreads

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

  • Herta Müller; Translated by Michael Hulse & Philip Boehm

  • 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 has also won the International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award for her previous novel, The Land of Green Plums.
  • Herta Müller
    Herta Müller

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Herta Müller Michael Hulse Philip Boehm
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Available Formats and Book Details

The Appointment

A Novel

Herta Müller; Translated by Michael Hulse & Philip Boehm

Nobel Prize For Literature

BOOKS FOR COURSES AVAILABLE

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FROM THE PUBLISHER

Picador

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