Centre for Contemporary German Culture
Nobel Prize-winning author Herta Müller reads from her latest novel, Atemschaukel (The Hunger Angel)
6 pm, 16 July 2012
James Callaghan Lecture Theatre, Keir Hardie Building, Swansea University
The Centre for Contemporary German Culture at Swansea University cordially invites you to attend a reading by Herta Müller, winner of the Nobel Prize in Literature in 2009 and former Writer in Residence at Swansea University.
Herta Müller (1953-) is a Romanian-German novelist, essayist and producer of collages whose work has been compared with that of W.G. Sebald and Franz Kafka. The Nobel Committee described her as a writer ‘who, with the concentration of poetry and the frankness of prose, depicts the landscape of the dispossessed’. In works such as Niederungen (Nadirs), Herztier (The Land of Green Plums), Reisende auf einem Bein (Travelling on One Leg), and Atemschaukel (The Hunger Angel), all written in German but translated worldwide, Müller addresses vital contemporary issues such as dictatorship, migration, memory, and the ongoing legacy of fascist and communist rule in Europe. Her works are written in a rich, poetic language which imbues them with great power and depth.
Atemschaukel (The Hunger Angel), which has just appeared in English to rave reviews, is a work of fictionalised testimony; drawing on the memories of the poet Oskar Pastior, it tells of the deportation of thousands of Romanian-Germans to Soviet labour camps after the Second World War. Find out more here.
Herta Müller will read in German with some simultaneous translation of the discussion; English translations of the passages will be available.
The reading forms part of the ‘Constructing the Nation in Literature and Film’ colloquium (16-18 July), part of the Leeds-Swansea Series in Contemporary German Literature. For further details and a programme see here.
PRAISE FOR THE HUNGER ANGEL
“A wonderful, passionate, poetic work of literature…Herta Muller is a writer who releases great emotional power through a highly sophisticated, image studded, and often expressionistic prose.” –Neal Ascherson, The New York Review of Books
“This is not just a good novel, it is a great one… Müller is through and through a stylist. Her novel is written in a taut idiomatic German, which breaks into paragraphs of wrenching, Rilkean lyricism…A masterpiece.” –Financial Times
“Written in terse, hypnotic prose…exquisite.” –New Yorker
“Wry and poetic, and Müller’s evocative language makes the abstract concrete as her narrator’s sanity is stretched…Boehm’s translation preserves the integrity of Müller’s gorgeous prose, and Leo’s despondent reveries are at once tragic and engrossing.” —Publishers Weekly (Starred Review)
“A work of rare force, a feat of sustained and overpowering poetry…Muller has the ability to distil concrete objects into language of the greatest intensity and to sear these objects on to the reader’s mind.”—Times Literary Supplement
“A phenomenal, moving and humbling novel.”—Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung