Land of Green Plums

Novel by Herta Müller


The Land of Green Plums is a novel by Herta Müller, published in 1994 by Rowohlt Verlag. Perhaps Müller's best-known work, the story portrays four young people living in a totalitarian police state under the Soviet-imposed communist dictatorship in Romania, ending with their emigration to Germany. The narrator is an unidentified young woman belonging to the ethnic German minority. Müller said the novel was written "in memory of my Romanian friends who were killed under the Ceauşescu regime".
Like many of Müller's books, The Land of Green Plums illustrates the position of dissidents from the German minority in Romania, who suffered a double oppression under the regime of Nicolae Ceauşescu. The rural German-speaking community tries to preserve its culture by enforcing traditional rules; once the main characters escape this environment through university study in the city, they suffer, as political dissidents, the oppression exercised by the totalitarian regime. Those who flee the country for Germany become cultural outcasts: they are not considered German there but rather Eastern Europeans. Critics read the novel as testifying to abuse and the ensuing trauma.

First Published


Member Reviews Write your own review

Be the first person to review

Log in to comment