Book Review: The Passport

Romanian author and winner of the 2009 Nobel Prize for Literature, Muller makes her English language debut with a simply drawn, deeply felt story of Windisch a miller who is seeking to emigrate from the tiny village. Such a move requires government documents yet no matter how many bags of flour he leaves with the appropriate official, no passport is forthcoming. In desperation, Windisch finally sends his daughter to “visit” those in power, a move that parallels the actions of his wife who did whatever it took to survive the ravages of a war torn country.

Muller’s spare writing style has a haunting, almost lyrical quality as she draws a window to the local superstitions, customs and power structure of a tiny village suffering under the heel of Ceausescu’s dictatorship.


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