An early masterpiece from the winner of the Nobel Prize, hailed as the laureate of life under totalitarianism.
Romania, the last months of the Ceaușescu regime. Adina is a young schoolteacher, Paul is a musician, and Clara works in a wire factory. Pavel is Clara's lover, but one of them works for the secret police and is reporting on the whole group.
One day Adina returns home to discover that her fox fur rug has had its tail cut off. On another occasion it's the hind leg. Then it's a foreleg. The mutilated fur is a sign that she is being tracked by the secret police - the fox was ever the hunter.
Images of photographic precision combine into a kaleidoscope of terror as Adina and her friends struggle to keep mind and body intact in a world pervaded by complicity and permeated with fear, where it's hard to tell victim from perpetrator. In The Fox Was Ever the Hunter, Herta Müller once again uses language that displays the "concentration of poetry and the frankness of prose" - as the Swedish Academy noted upon awarding her the Nobel Prize - to create a hauntingly cinematic portrayal of the corruption of the soul under totalitarianism.
©2009 Carl Hanser Verlag. Translation © 2016 by Philip Boehm (P)2016 Blackstone Audio, Inc.
While the prose was lyrical and often profound to the point of nonsensical, it was the narrative that forced me to stop halfway through. Nobel prize?
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