HUNGER IS A MER­CI­LESS COLONISER OF BOD­IES AND MINDS

The Weekend Australian - Review - - Books - Cos­tica Bra­datan’s

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.

Herta Muller

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