Jo's Reviews > The Hunger Angel

The Hunger Angel by Herta Müller
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May 20, 12

Read from May 09 to 20, 2012

I have read many good reviews of Herta Muller's writing but until I received this book had not read her. The character Leo is an indentured servant to the Soviets. He physically survives but his psyche is forever changed. I saw him as a sort of anti-hero, very unlike the American tale of the "fighter" who works against the system and escapes from his lot. Leo just learns to survive. He is the every man placed in a horrible situation and is propelled to survival by his hunger angel. In my everyday way of thinking I always like to think that with alot of therapy all psychic difficulties can be overcome but with this story I realized some hurts run so deep they can't be talked or written away. Maybe some of the pain is lessened and some periodic joy is found but slavery claims it's toll for a life time. Muller is able to convey this pain so poetically I thought she had suffered in the camps herself. In the afterward she speaks of her friend, Oskar Pastior who's stories were the basis for Leo. What a beautiful memorial to her friend. I hope he felt some peace from this purging before he died. Also a note to the translator for maintaining the depth of the prose from the original. This work will stay with me for a long time.
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