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Out of the questioning

The 2009 Nobel prize winner, German author Herta Müller, is almost unknown among English speakers. But her tales of totalitarianism must be read

Herta Müller: controversy swirls round her

The Appointment by Herta Mueller (Portobello, £7.99)

While reading this extraordinary book, I mentioned to four different friends that I was writing a piece about Herta Mueller. All were expensively educated, well-informed people with good Oxbridge arts degrees. Yet each responded in the same way: “Herta who?” I will lay good odds that these four are not unusual.

It is a measure of how insular, myopic and lazy Anglo-Saxon cultural life has become that the work of one of Europe’s most important contemporary writers is so little known. So dominant is our language that…

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