Goethe Institut Boston packed for reading by Nobel Prize Laureate Herta Müller
Enlarge image Book signing after the reading (© Goethe-Institut Boston) The Consulate General was honored to join the local Goethe Institut in welcoming Nobel Laureate Herta Müller to Boston last weekend. The acclaimed German-Romanian author won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 2009 for her book Atemschaukel; she is presently on a book tour in the United States to introduce the new English translation of her acclaimed book under the title The Hunger Angel.
At the packed Goethe Institut Ms. Müller and her talented translator, Philip Boehm, conducted a reading in both English and German. The audience was able to examine side-by-side the English and German texts and appreciate the subtlety with which Boehm translated Müller’s unique poetic prose.
Enlarge image Welcoming address by Detlef Gericke-Schoenhagen, director of the Goethe-Institut Boston (© Goethe-Institut Boston) After reading from several chapters, Herta Müller and Philip Boehm answered questions about the texts and their writing process. In describing her inspiration for the book, Ms. Müller discussed her emotional personal and working relationship with Oskar Pastior, a survivor of the Soviet forced labor camps whose experiences inspired and shaped the book. Ms. Müller’s own mother also spent time in the Soviet camps; some of the details in the novel Müller borrowed from her mother’s trauma. The author also discussed her own past under the sinister Romanian dictatorship of Nicolae Ceausescu.
Herta Müller participated in a discussion and Q&A, moderated by Anca Luca Holden, visiting Assistant Professor of German at Mount Holyoke College.
Enlarge image Philip Boehm reading from the English translation to a packed audience (© Goethe-Institut Boston) After the reading, guests had the opportunity to have their copies of Herta Müller's books signed by the author's and to exchange views during the following reception.
Ms. Müller’s trip to Boston had begun with a private dinner at the house of Consul General Friedrich Löhr. It also led the author to Boston University where she read from her works at the Center for the Study of Europe.
Philip Boehm’s translation of The Hunger Angel is now available in bookstores in the Boston area and across the United States. His beautiful text offers a new set of readers the opportunity to experience Herta Müller’s haunting and important novel.