Monday, December 24, 2012

The Soviets have so much to answer for....

The Hunger AngelThe Hunger Angel by Herta Müller

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Just when you think that you have read enough about Soviet slave labour camps or gulags or senseless human suffering, along comes a book that is a beautifully written testament to the pain, longing, suffering of our fellow humans. This book is about the fate of German Rumanians after WW2 and the penance they had to pay, demanded by the Soviets, for the Fascist past. The focus of the story is how people deal with persistent, long-term hunger. The author also does an amazing job describing the problems/difficulties of re-entry into a 'free' society after life in the camps. There are some interesting similarities to The Orphan Master's Son, about life in North Korea. Herta Mueller's work makes for difficult reading, but each of her books is worth the effort. No surprise that she is a recipient of the Nobel Prize for Literature.

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