Herta Müller

Herta Müller was born in Romania in 1953. After refusing to co-operate with Ceausescu’s Securitate, she lost her job as a teacher and suffered repeated threats before she was able to emigrate in 1987. Her novels include: The Passport (1992) and The Land of Green Plums (1993). The recipient of Germany’s most prestigious literary award, the Kleist Prize, Herta Müller now lives in Berlin.
Land of Green Plums (part)

Old people came, one by one, to visit a grave that would soon be theirs too. They brought no flowers, the graves were covered with them anyway. They didn’t weep, they stared into space. Sometimes one would search for a handkerchief, bend down and wipe the dust off his shoes, retie the laces, and tuck the handkerchief away again. They didn’t weep because they didn’t want to make work for their cheeks. Because each of their faces was already on a tombstone, cheek to cheek with the deceased in a round photograph.