The Land of Green Plums
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The Land of Green Plums

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3.66 of 5 stars 3.66  ·  rating details  ·  1,958 ratings  ·  298 reviews
Set in Romania at the height of Ceausescu's reign of terror, this novel tells the story of a group of young students, each of whom has left the impoverished provinces in search of better prospects in the city.
Paperback, 242 pages
Published November 1st 2009 by Granta Books (UK) (first published 1994)
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Mariel
Oct 11, 2013 Mariel rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: if only I had known what you already knew
Recommended to Mariel by: they can leave me for dead they can take away my truth
"Not everyone is lucky enough to be able to say openly how they feel in their hearts. Some people have to keep their hearts hidden." - Alfred Chester

A table and a chair now stood in the cube where Lola's bed had been. And on the table, a big preserving jar with long sprays from the scruffy park, dwarf white roses with delicately serrated leaves. The branches put down white roots in the water. The girls could walk and eat and sleep in the cube. They weren't afraid to sing in front of Lola's leave
...more
Pooriya
این‌قدر که خوب بود چیزی ندارم بگم، فقط بخش‌هایی از کتاب که به‌نظر جالب میومد رو می‌نویسم:‏

عرق، سر را از منهیات و حرف‌های بودار حفظ می‌کند و خوراک، دهان را از سخن گفتن. حتی زمانی که زبان مشغول وراجی است، اعتیاد به ترس و هراس دست از سر کلام برنمی‌دارد.‏
___________
شایعات به ما هشدار می‌داد که از فرار دوری گزینیم. همه از مرگ قریب‌الوقوع دیکتاتور احساس شادمانی می‌کردند، اما مرگی درکار نبود. هرکسی می‌توانست جنازه‌ی او را در نظر مجسم کند که مانند زندگی نکبت‌بارش، از میان کاسه‌ی سرش به بیرون می‌خزد. همه...more
Julia
When i started to read, i thought: "Oh no, stream-of-conscious-like, unconnected episodes in a weird language....", but as i progressed i slowly started to appreciate Müller's unusual language. The metaphors are strange, but are very expressive.They make you feel the opressive atmosphere in a totalitarian regime, one starts to feel persecuted by "harmless men with dogs" walking behind you, one can relate perfectly well to how the characters grow more and more hopeless and depressed despite of th...more
Evan
Like the Aira novel I just reviewed, I felt something lost in translation here. I picked up this novel after reading Jesse Ball's Curfew and seeing another critic on Goodreads claim that Land of Green Plums was a better entry in the genre. The genre, I guess, is that of Kafka-- absurdist fairy tales of life in a police state. It seems a little silly to rank Muller and Ball. The difference between them might be summed as the difference between a Central/Eastern European and an American sensibilit...more
Kebrit !!!
ما هر روز در مورد بیماری قدیم و جدید دیکتاتور شایعاتی می‌شنیدیم. البته هیچ‌کس باور نمی‌کرد؛ هرچند آدم‌ها با اولین کسی که رو‌به‌رو می‌شدند راجع به آن در‌گوشی پچ‌پچ می‌کردند. ما هم برای دیگران تعریف می‌کردیم. گویی شایعات حامل ویروس کشنده‌ای بود که امکان داشت به صورت خزنده، گریبان دیکتاتور را بگیرد و او را نفله کند.
مردم در‌گوشی به هم می‌گفتند:«مجبوره باز بره فرانسه یا چین، بلژیک یا انگلستان، کره یا سوریه، یا آلمان.» در شایعات مربوط به مسافرت دیکتاتور از کشورهایی نام برده می‌شد که ما می‌خواستیم به آ...more
Stephen
No one writes quite like Herta Müller. One reviewer has spoken of her "incantatory prose," which describes well the almost hypnotic rhythm of her sentences. Another characteristic of her writing is that she invariably describes things from I guess what I would say "the other way around." Often this involves an element of personification. A person does not carry a suitcase but the suitcase "stretches her arm." A woman bathed in light does not look up at the crucifix hanging on the dark wall, but...more
William
Possesses a narrative patterning that is strikingly beautiful in its effects. There's compression, too, and suspense, though it's not a mystery or thriller. It's character driven so there's no real plot. Yet the vivid picture Herta Müller paints of Communist Romania under dictator Ceausescu is an absolute horror. I mean, the inanity of harassing perfectly harmless people and interrogating them and humiliating them for no purpose other than to instill fear and, thus, submission. Hannah Arendt's p...more
Praj
The Land of Green Plums is an overwhelming allegorical saga of Banat Swabians (German minority populace) inhabiting in Romania, who lived under constant scrutiny and fear after WWII; especially throughout vigilant torment of Nicolae Ceaușescu(1965-1989).

** Whatever you carry out of your province, you carry out in your face.

** When we don’t speak, said Edgar, we become unbearable and when we do, we make fools of ourselves.

Muller delineates the story of barren lands, mournful eyes, optimistic hear...more
Jennifer
From My Blog...

Rich, symbolic and full of lyrical prose, The Land of Green Plums by Herta Müller takes the reader to Romania and through the oppression suffered by the people under Ceausescu’s totalitarian regime. The narrator does not tell the story in a linear pattern, rather in bits and pieces that become interwoven to bring forth a masterful tapestry, rich, deep, and dark. The reader learns about Lola and the days leading up to her apparent suicide, which is what brings the narrator together...more
Galina
Всички романи на Херта Мюлер, които съм чела, акцентират върху това колко безнадежден може да е животът. Няма прокрадване на лъч светлина, няма опити за самозаблуждение и очакване, че лошият период ще премине. Защото това не е период - хората, родени в една мрачна страна, носят тъмното в себе си. Те го приласкават, споделят, пренасят го - местейки се, но не могат да избягат от факта, че не познават искрено вярата и жизнерадостното в ежедневието.
Въпреки че няма открити обвинения срещу потисничес...more
Joe
A land of no hope, in a book outside of time. The narrator and her three male friends, all quiet rebels in an oppressed post-war Romania, think their thoughts of freedom and wait with a sickening dread to be punished for them, despite doing little more than writing poetry and planning to emigrate. Muller makes a point of showing just how fragile human connections are in a society based on fear. She lives with various nice women, has a supportive mother, and holds onto her close friendship with T...more
Ahmad
مولر نفوذ دیکتاتوری کمونیسم را به خلوت‌ترین گوشه های ذهن مردم اروپای شرقی به تصویر خیال کشیده، سرگذشت دانشجویان زخم خورده لهستانی، که در دوره دیکتاتوری نیکولای چائوشسکو، سرزمین خود را ترک می‌کنند و به بخارست پناهنده می‌شوند، غافل از اینکه حکومت «رومانی» در آپارتمان‌های تاریک و کثیف منطقه فقیرنشین شهر هم حضور دارد. ترزا(راوی)، ادگار، کورت و گئورگ و البته لولا همگی، رویا‌شان برباد رفته، گوشه عزلت می‌گیرند. گئورگ به آلمان پناهنده می‌شود، کورت خود را در آپارتمان حلق‌آویز می‌کند و ادگار و ترزا هم
...
Monique

Originally posted here.

To be perfectly honest, I didn't plan on reading this book. In fact, I didn't know that this book even existed until I bought a copy intended as a gift for my favorite reading Buddy, Angus, for Christmas last year. Unfortunately - or fortunately? - he got the book during our kris kringle, which meant I had to give him Orhan Pamuk's My Name Is Red instead - my back-up gift - and I get to keep thisMüllernovel myself.

And then we agreed to buddy-read itfor May, which I truly,...more
S.
I’d not intended to read this book. When Herta Müller won the Nobel Prize for literature last year, I shrugged and went on with my life. My mother picked this up, found it dull, and passed it on to me without much encouragement.

This book was strong on neither plot nor character and yet it was a marvelous book.

The plot is straight-forward: Romania under dictatorship, its citizens making themselves into “tin sheep” and calling it “metallurgy,” working then drinking in bodegas like “refugees from...more
vanya klecherova
„Зверчето в сърцето ти“,

Херта Мюлер, ИК „Сиела“, 2012,
превод: Мария Дерменджиева,
е втората книга на Мюлер, която чета.

Текстът ме грабна до степен, че още след първите прочетени страници,
отидох в най-близката книжарница и си купих следваща книга на Мюлер.

Има автори, които ме отегчават с един и същия си почерк. Херта Мюлер не е сред тях.
При нея е тъкмо обратното. Колкото по-една и съща, толкова по-пленяваща сетивата ми.

Вече спокойно можех да се оставя „Зверчето“ да ме погълне.
Очакваха ме следващи...more
Frank
It was Christmas Day, 1989; our gift from the wealthy sister-in-law was a trip to Puerto Rico. I had one semester of grad school to go; the draft of my written thesis had been turned in and only the design portion and editing remained. We left Cincinnati and it was below 0° F, for Chicago, with a connection to Newark, with the final leg to San Juan. Naturally, there was a delay in Chicago; we watched with rapt attention CNN on the airport television screens—there were two main stories that day,...more
Alta
The Land of Green Plums, first published in English in 1996 by Metropolitan Books, and reissued in 1998 by Northwestern, is one of the greatest books on dictatorship I have ever read. It is also one of the most authentic books. What do I mean by that? This book being inspired by the author’s personal trauma, it would have been easy for it to fall into the confessions-of-a-victim mood that characterizes a certain kind of literature today. But Herta Müller’s style couldn’t be more different. Her p...more
Jasminka
Ovo je prva knjiga od Herte Müller koju sam pročitala i sigurno neće biti jedina...
Neobičan stil, liričan, skoro poetičan, na mračnu temu - život u Rumunjskoj za vreme diktature Čaušeskua, ispričene kroz reči mlade pripadnice Švapske manjine. Knjiga obiluje simbolikom, teška je za čitanje u smislu da joj treba posvetiti celokupnu pažnju, ali svakako vredi truda.
Priča je to o tome kako jedan dnevnik devojke koja se ubije sticajem okolnosti zbližava četvoro mladih ljudi Švapske manjine u Rumunjsko...more
Salathiel
I wanted to like this book. I really did. With it being the spawn of a Nobel Laureate and a book that purposed to explore the human side-effects of dictatorial Romania, I was certain that this book would tickle my literary side while also indulging my inner humanitarian. But sadly, it didn't.

The biggest reason for it's failure? It simply was too confusing. I love the well-turned phrase as much as the next one, but when poetry and beauty starts to inhibit the progression of plot and understanding...more
Niloofar
کتابی نیست که بر اساس یکبار خواندن بشود در مورد آن اظهار نظر جامعی کرد اما فعلا چند نکته در ذهن دارم که مایلم در مورد آن بنویسم:

1) نمی دانم هرتا مولر تا چه اندازه توانسته یا اصلا مایل بوده وضعیت واقعی کشورش را در دوران ریاست جمهوری چائوشسکو به تصویر بکشد، اما قدر مسلم با رجوع به تاریخ و فعالیت های چائوشسکو، روایت او صرفا از "جو خفقان رومانی" در آن دوره چندان خالی از صداقت نیست. بنابراین می توان او را روایتگری در نظر گرفت که حداقل برخی از جنبه های جو رایج آن دوره را از طریق اتفاقات زندگی روزمره ب...more
Eszter
This book is very close to home for me.

Surprisingly, I found it by scanning titles at the library looking for something that jumped out.

This sounds like my parents' story and brought back memories of living in Romania prior to Ceausescu's fall, and the tales my parents have told.

When I took the book to them so they could see what it was about, my father recognised the picture of the author as one of the women that used to be in their poetry/literature group. I guess you could say they were rebe...more
Kathrina
If you merely dip your toe in this novel, you will likely decide the temperature is too cold. I recommend a big leap in, and trust the prose to float you to the surface and, in time, regulate your heartbeat. You will find a very moving, personal, tragic story, not comfortable, but a place you'll recognize in your own heart, if you've ever felt loss, suspicion, alienation. The prose are not consistently great, but what is great is powerful.
Behzad
سرزمین گوجه های سبز


وقتی ولایت خود را ترک می گوییم
وارد صورت خود می شویم .

بخشی از متن کتاب

حکایت چند دانشجو که در سرزمینی که فساد سر تاسر ش را فرا گرفته و صبوری عجیب در مردمانش عجین شده است به تلاشی دست بر میدارند تا بلکه بتوانند سری به بالا کنند و از آفتاب بهره گیرند .
حکایت سرزمینی که نام سگ و نام پلیس صاحب سگ یکیست

Rob
Nicolae Ceauşescu was perhaps the most disturbing of former communist leaders. Though no Pol Pot or Stalin when it comes to body count, day to day life under his dictatorship was possibly as bad as anywhere in the Eastern Bloc. This book does an incredible job of describing what that must have been like. Herta Muller, who one can assume is practically identifiable as the narrator, uses sparse, poetic prose and evocative imagery to recreate the nightmare; she herself was raised in Romania and was...more
Mara
Libro complesso. L’ho trovato difficile da leggere e non mi ha mai appassionato veramente; però una volta terminato (anche se un paio di volte sono stata sul punto di abbandonarlo), ti costringe a pensare al fatto che il potere assoluto crea dei mostri, che la storia sembra ripetersi in modo impressionante e che il passato non ci insegna nulla. Non è un libro con una trama definita o un libro sulla dittatura rumena, ma descrive, con una prosa scarna al limite dell’ermetico, il terrore di chi dev...more
sonia
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Sergei_kalinin
Автор: лауреат Нобелевки по литературе 2009 года. Премия дана за высокохудожественное описание жизни "униженных и оскорбленных" в тоталитарных странах.

Добавим, что сама автор - эмигрантка из Румынии (в Германию). Данная конкретная книга про то "как всё там у них плохо" :) , разумеется, написана на примере Румынии (книга очень автобиографична) времен Чаушеску, и это типичный антисоветский "ужастик" для т.н. цивилизованных европейских стран.

Книга ужасно НЕ понравилась: 1) она мега-депрессивная и б...more
Vishy
I got Herta Müller’s ‘The Land of Green Plums’ as a gift from my favourite friend and I have been waiting for the right time to read it. So, when German Literature Month arrived, I took it down from the shelf and read it. Here is what I think.

‘The Land of Green Plums’ describes life in Romania during the Cold War. It is told by an un-named woman narrator who tells us about her life and that of her family and her three friends. The story starts from the time the narrator is studying at university...more
Dan
Life is bleak in The Land of the Green Plums. Supposedly because of the Romanian dictator, Ceausescu’s grim, poverty-stricken police state.

The characters: well, they aren’t much like realist-fiction characters. Muller writes with great distance. One mark of Muller’s remoteness is the narrator’s telling of her own childhood stories in the third person, not like a Nixonesque megalomanic but out a design that reveals character through atmosphere rather than facts, that substitutes a dark and cloud...more
Christian Engler
For anyone who has ever believed that socialism of any kind was or is a good thing, Herta Muller's The Land of Green Plums would be an eye-opening novel that might make you think otherwise. My father, who grew up under socialist Nazism and then communism, worked very hard to escape it. He was to the very end, a man who always decried it and saw it for what it really was. So, from the very get-go, I've had a natural dislike for ideologies embossed with socialist leanings, regardless if what is be...more
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Goodreads Librari...: Nobel Prize for Literature not attributed to book 2 32 May 01, 2012 03:36PM  
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134980
Herta Müller was born in Niţchidorf, Timiş County, Romania, the daughter of Swabian farmers. Her family was part of Romania's German minority and her mother was deported to a labour camp in the Soviet Union after World War II.

She read German studies and Romanian literature at Timişoara University. In 1976, Müller began working as a translator for an engineering company, but in 1979 was dismissed...more
More about Herta Müller...
The Hunger Angel The Appointment The Passport Nadirs Der Fuchs war damals schon der Jäger

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“Women always need other women to lean on. They become friends in order to hate each other better. The more they hate each other, the more inseparable they become.” 35 likes
“When we don't speak, said Edgar, we become unbearable, and when we do, we make fools of ourselves.” 21 likes
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