Cristina and Her Double

Selected Essays

Herta Müller

Published: 7 November 2013
Hardback, 200x153
153x200mm, 208 pages
ISBN: 9781846274756

Translated by Geoffrey Mulligan.


Simon Schama, in defence of the essay in the age of Twitter, writes: 'The self-propulsion of a ranging intelligence is the dynamo that drives a powerful essay; the headlong gallop of thought to a destination the reader can't predict and which may not have occurred to the writer when he began.' That power, that propulsion, that surprise is evident in every one of this selection of the very finest of the essays produced over the past 20 years by the Romanian-German Nobel Laureate Herta Müller. She interrogates Communist society - especially in its bizarre Romanian Ceausescu variation - and matters of complicity, secrecy, betrayal, guilt, responsibility, resistance and the power of literature. Her writing is bewitching and convincing; her approach is unswerving, unsparing and undeluded. Her reader is grateful.

These are among the most powerful demonstrations of the pen's might exceeding the sword's to be produced in the last forty years in Europe.

About the author

Image of Herta Müller

Herta Müller was born on 17 August 1953 in Nitzkydorf (Banat/Romania). Her parents belonged to the German-speaking minority. Her father was a lorry driver, her mother a peasant. She attended school and university in Temeswar. After refusing to work for the Romanian secret service, the Securitate, she lost her job as translator in a machine factory. Nadirs, her first book, lay around at the publishers for four years and was heavily censored when it was eventually published. The manuscript was smuggled to Germany and published in 1984. In 1987, she emigrated to Germany and has lived in Berlin ever since. She has a string of literary prizes to her name, including the Aspekte Literature Prize (1984), the Kleist Prize (1994), the Prix Aristeion (1995), the Konrad Adenauer prize for literature (2004) and, the Nobel Prize for Literature (2009). More about the author


‘Chilling. These angry essays tell of political oppression with a sombre eye and a deft economy of words’ Ian Thomson



‘Herta Müller has eyes like spotlights that drive out the darkness night after night’ Verena Auffermann

‘I am always amazed by how much power and nobility can fit into such a tiny and fragile frame’ Mircea Cartarescu

‘Müller has the ability to distil concrete objects into language of the greatest intensity and to sear these objects onto the reader's mind’

‘Müller is a writer who releases great emotional power through a highly sophisticated, image-studded, and often expressionist prose’

‘With prose as fragile and fine as sugar-crystal... Müller reminds us that an imagination enraged by memory remains, thankfully, untrammelled’ Bettany Hughes

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