"A haunting portrayal of the secret lives of people and things during the last breaths of an obliterating regime . . . deftly rendered by Muller's longtime translator Philip Boehm. . . . Muller inches closer to narrowing the gap between people and things, between life and language. For that reason, her sparse prose often resembles poetry."
--The Washington Post
"The Fox Was Ever the Hunter is a collage of images, stories and fragments of forbidden songs. . . . When the collage is completed, the reader understands that each and every one of Muller's stories, every flight of luscious language and every brutal fact, has been necessary in depicting a society torn to pieces."
--The New York Times
"Remarkable . . . The Fox is one of Muller's early works . . . newly released in English and given a lucid translation by Philip Boehm . . . it draws on what she suffered while clenched in the jaws of one of history's most notorious dictatorships. But she infuses characters and events with surreal elements and heightened levels of metaphor that make this much more than a roman a clef. . . . Here, dreams become extensions of life, or life itself is a dream; they are cut, at any rate, from one and the same fabric, consistently lurid and terrifying."
"Reads like poetry . . . The Fox Was Ever the Hunter is a short book, but the way Muller narrates gives it a luminescence, like wet stone seen at night. . . . Of the writers to survive life under the Communist bloc, Muller has written most poignantly about the way surveillance and state control at once necessitated and warped the fabric of love. . . . From the moment she left, Muller has exercised her voice with a fury that vibrates off the page nearly a quarter century later. In this vividly poetic novel, she reminds us what life without that freedom looked, felt, and tasted like."
"A dark collage, which glints with fear--and with beauty . . . Muller's prose--as poetic as it is blunt--works like a prism, shattering and illuminating a world that is always watching, waiting."
"Perhaps no author has captured the surreal textures of Iron Curtain paranoia quite like Herta Muller."
--Vogue.com (Best Books of the Month)
"This newly translated 1992 novel set during the twilight of Romania's Ceau?escu regime makes vivid the persecution Muller and others suffered. . . . She uses the distinctive language honoured by the Nobel Committee for its 'concentration of poetry and the frankness of prose' to give a powerful sense of the toxic atmosphere of a totalitarian regime."
--BBC Culture (UK)
"Atmospheric, lyrical . . . An essential work of post-Iron Curtain literature and a harrowing portrait of life under suspicion."
--Kirkus Reviews (starred)
"Offers a bleak and poetic portrait of Romanian village life in the final days of the Ceau?escu regime, where deprivation is ubiquitous, cruelty is standard, and spying is a survival skill . . . Thickly lyrical and sometimes downright hallucinatory . . . few descriptions of life under totalitarian rule are as beautifully evocative."
"Extraordinary . . . Muller lays bare the totalitarian attack on the individual and the everyday horror of life under a repressive regime. There is a cinematic intensity to the narrative. . . . Short, clipped sentences accumulate, overlapping and building into a noisy, symphonic whole. . . . Philip Boehm's excellent translation resist[s] any temptation to rationalize, to smooth over the strangeness. . . . Muller herself does not dictate to us and often lets the truth emerge from what remains unsaid. The result is a profoundly unsettling novel, which renders palpable the cruelty of life under the regime, as well as the brittle exhilarations of its overthrow.'
--Times Literary Supplement (UK)show more