"With the concentration of poetry and the frankness of prose, Muller depicts the language of the dispossessed."—Jury of the Nobel Prize for Literature
"[Müller’s] dark, closely observed and sometimes violent work often explores exile and the grim quotidian realities of life under Ceausescu. . . . Her sensibility is often bleak, but the detail in her fiction can whip it alive."—New York Times
The Passport is a beautiful, haunting novel whose subject is a German village in Romania caught between the stifling hopelessness of Ceaucescu's dictatorship and the glittering temptations of the West. Stories from the past are woven together with the problems Windisch, the village miller, faces after he applies for permission to migrate to West Germany. Herta Müller describes with poetic attention the dreams and superstitions, conflicts and oppression of a forgotten region, the Banat, in the Danube Plain. In sparse, poetic language, Müller captures the forlorn plight of a trapped people.
Herta Müller was born in Timis, Romania in 1953. A vocal member of the German minority, she was forced to leave the country in 1987, and moved to Berlin, where she still lives. In 2009 she won the Nobel Prize for Literature.