HUNGER IS A MERCILESS COLONISER OF BODIES AND MINDS
about camp life, but from other people in her village and especially from poet friend Oskar Pastior, who had spent five years in the camp and on whom Auberg is modelled.
Muller’s conversations with Pastior filled several notebooks of handwritten notes. They were preparing to write a book together but Pastior died in 2006 before the project could take shape. Muller had to ‘‘ say farewell to the We’’ and write the novel herself. If you are attentive enough, you can sense the pain of mourning piercing through the page.
Muller has never lived in a labour camp. Yet her account of camp life has the immediacy and vividness that transpires from camp survivors’ testimonies. Just as she lent Pastior her voice, he gave her in return a good pair of eyes.