Thursday, October 8, 2009

BBC News: Mueller wins Nobel literary prize

German author Herta Mueller has been awarded the 2009 Nobel Prize for Literature, the academy in Stockholm has announced.

The Romanian-born writer follows last year's French winner Jean-Marie Gustave Le Clezio, while British writer Doris Lessing won in 2007.

Mueller, born in 1953, is renowned for her depiction of the harsh conditions under Nicolae Ceausescu's regime.

The Swedish academy praised Mueller for both her poetry and prose.

Literary prizes

It said the writer had an ability to "depict the landscape of the dispossessed" and writes "with the concentration of poetry and the frankness of prose."

Mueller was born to a family from Romania's German minority and her mother was deported to a labour camp in the Soviet Union after World War II.

She emigrated to Germany in 1987, after being dismissed from her job in Romania during the 1970s due to her refusal to co-operate with the regime's secret police.

Her first collection of German language short stories, published in 1982, were censored in Romania.

Mueller's initial works were smuggled out of the country, while in later years she was awarded several literary prizes, including Ireland's Impac Award in 1998.

One of her later books, 2001's The Appointment, goes into great detail about living under a stagnated dictatorship.

Only a few of the author's works have been translated into English, including The Passport (1986), The Land of Green Plums (1994) and The Appointment.

Mueller will receive a prize of 10 million Swedish Kronor (£892,000) along with her Nobel honour, which will be presented at a ceremony in Stockholm later this year.

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