Excerpt from The Fox Was Ever the Hunter by Herta Muller, plus links to reviews, author biography & more

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The Fox Was Ever the Hunter

by Herta Muller

The Fox Was Ever the Hunter by Herta Muller X
The Fox Was Ever the Hunter by Herta Muller
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     Not Yet Rated
  • First Published:
    May 2016, 256 pages
    Paperback:
    May 2017, 256 pages

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Book Reviewed by:
Davida Chazan
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*   *   *

Clara takes a small, red-flecked summer apple out of her bag and holds it under Adina's chin. The thimble glows, its sharp edge barely missing the apple skin. A small apple with a long, woody stem that takes up too much of what should have been flesh. Adina takes a deep bite. Spit it out, says Clara, there's a worm. The fruit is burrowed with a brown, crumbly thread. Adina swallows what she's bitten off, worm and all. It's just an apple worm, she says, it grows inside the apple, it's made of apple flesh. It doesn't grow inside the apple, says Clara, it crawls inside, eats its way through and then crawls back out. That is its way.

Adina eats, the bite crunches in her ear, what's it supposed to do outside, she says, it's nothing but apple, it's white and eats white flesh and shits a brown path, once it eats its way through the apple it dies. That is its way.

Clara's eyes are small and without any makeup. The sky is empty and the poplar knives stand upright and green. Clara says nothing, she lies down on the blanket, her pupils roll down straight toward her mouth and her eyes close.

A cloud hangs over the apartment block, white and churning. Old folk who die in summer float for a while above the city, lingering between bed and grave.

Clara and the summer old folk are lying in the same sleep. Adina feels the way of the apple worm in her stomach. It runs through her pubic hair down the inside of her thighs and into the hollows of her knees.

Copyright © 2009 by Carl Hanser Verlag

Translation copyright © 2016 by Philip Boehm

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