Nadirs was Herta Müller's debut novel, and yet it is, in the words of F.C. Delius: "a powerfully written literary masterpiece that opened up a blank spot on the map." In haunting scenes, Müller vividly describes the life of the German-speaking minority in communist Romania, painting it as a sinister anti-idyll within an enclave defined by fear and hatred, intolerance and inflexibility. Dense, poetic language delineates a village life without a trace of cosiness, and a homeland that is not a home; as a result, this book quickly became famous as the relentless chronicle of a sinking world, and constitutes the foundations of a work that has unfolded ever more widely since then. Nadirs was published in an abridged edition in Germany in 1984 – this is the first publication of Herta Müller's debut in its original version.
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