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The Fox Was Ever the Hunter: A Novel Audiobook, by Herta Müller Extended Sample Click for printable size audiobook cover
Author: Herta Müller Narrator: Suzanne Toren Publisher: Blackstone Publishing Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: May 2016 ISBN: 9781504640527
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An early masterpiece from the winner of the Nobel Prize, hailed as the laureate of life under totalitarianism

Romania, the last months of the Ceaușescu regime. Adina is a young schoolteacher, Paul is a musician, and Clara works in a wire factory. Pavel is Clara’s lover, but one of them works for the secret police and is reporting on the whole group.

One day Adina returns home to discover that her fox fur rug has had its tail cut off. On another occasion it’s the hind leg. Then it’s a foreleg. The mutilated fur is a sign that she is being tracked by the secret police—the fox was ever the hunter.

Images of photographic precision combine into a kaleidoscope of terror as Adina and her friends struggle to keep mind and body intact in a world pervaded by complicity and permeated with fear, where it’s hard to tell victim from perpetrator.

In The Fox Was Ever the Hunter, Herta Müller once again uses language that displays the “concentration of poetry and the frankness of prose”—as the Swedish Academy noted upon awarding her the Nobel Prize—to create a hauntingly cinematic portrayal of the corruption of the soul under totalitarianism.

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Quotes & Awards

  • The Fox Was Ever the Hunter is itself a collage of images, stories, and fragments of forbidden songs. Müller arranges them in such a way that the reader gets a sense of how terrifying and rife with betrayal life in Romania was during the end of ­Ceausescu’s regime…when the collage is completed, the reader understands that each and every one of Müller’s stories, every flight of luscious language and every brutal fact, has been necessary in depicting a society torn to pieces and tasked, with the curtains finally open and the light streaming in, with putting those pieces back together to make sense of it all.

    New York Times Book Review

  • “An air of Soviet-era menace engulfs The Fox Was Ever the Hunter, Herta Müller’s remarkable novel…it draws on what she suffered while clenched in the jaws of one of history’s most notorious dictatorships. But she infuses characters and events with surreal elements and heightened levels of metaphor that make this much more than a roman à clef…Here, dreams become extensions of life, or life itself is a dream; they are cut, at any rate, from one and the same fabric, consistently lurid and terrifying.”


  • “Müller slowly builds suspense as she draws on memories of the stark landscape, the personal betrayals, the state brutality, the daily dread and tedium. Her prose—as poetic as it is blunt—works like a prism, shattering and illuminating a world that is always watching, waiting. ‘Everything that shines also sees,’ runs a refrain in this dark collage, which glints with fear—and with beauty.”


  • “Atmospheric, lyrical…An essential work of post–Iron Curtain literature and a harrowing portrait of life under suspicion.”

    Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

  • A Pick for Most Anticipated Books of 2016
  • A Flavorwire Pick for the 50 Most Anticipated Books of 2016
  • A Kirkus Reviews Pick for Books That Let You Travel Abroad (without Leaving Home)
  • A NPR Best Book of 2016 for Historical Fiction
  • A 2017 PEN Translation Prize Longlist Selection
  • A Boston Globe Pick of the Best Books of 2016

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About the Author

Herta Müller is the winner of the 2009 Nobel Prize in Literature, the International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award, and the European Literature Prize. She is the author of, among other books, The Hunger Angel and The Land of Green Plums. Born in Romania in 1953, Müller lost her job as a teacher and suffered repeated threats after refusing to cooperate with Ceausescu’s secret police. She succeeded in emigrating in 1987 and now lives in Berlin.

About the Narrator

Suzanne Toren, award-winning narrator, has over thirty years of experience in narration. She was named a “Golden Voice” by AudioFile magazine in 2019. She has won the American Foundation for the Blind’s Scourby Award for Narrator of the Year, AudioFile magazine named her the 2009 Best Voice in Nonfiction & Culture, and she is the recipient of multiple Earphones Awards. She performs on and off Broadway and in regional theaters and has appeared on Law & Order and in various soap operas.