German woman writer wins 2009 Nobel Prize in Literature

16:19, October 09, 2009      

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German woman writer Herta Müller has won the 2009 Nobel Prize in Literature, the Swedish Academy announced Thursday.


Romanian-born German writer Herta Mueller leaves her apartment after she had won the 2009 Nobel literature prize in Berlin, October 8, 2009. (Xinhua Photo)

"The Nobel Prize in literature for 2009 is awarded to the German author 'who, with the concentration of poetry and the frankness of prose, depicts the landscape of the dispossessed'", said the Swedish Academy in Stockholm.

"A combination of her fantastic, special and hard language, her stories about growing up in a dictatorship and a minority in another country, she really has a story to tell with a good language," Peter Englund, Permanent Secretary of the Swedish Academy explained why she won the Nobel Prize after the announcement.

Müller made her debut with the collection of short stories Niederungen in1982, which was censored in Romania, according to a biography issued by the academy.

Two years later, she published two works describing life in a small, German-speaking village and the corruption, intolerance and repression there.

Because Müller had publicly criticized the dictatorship in Romania, she was prohibited from publishing in her own country, according to the information from the Nobel committee.

In 1987, Müller emigrated together with her husband, author Richard Wagner to Germany.
Among others, the novels The Land of Green Plums in 1996 and The Appointment in 2001 give a portrait of daily life in a stagnated dictatorship.

After working as a translator at a machine factory from 1977 to 1979, she was dismissed when she refused to be an informant for the secret police and was even harassed by the secret agents.

Müller was born on August 17, 1953 in the German-speaking town Nitzkydorf in Banat, Romania but now lives in Berlin. Since 1995 she has served as a member of German Academy of languages in Darmstadt.

Many of her works have been translated into English and French.

The first Nobel Prize in literature was issued in 1901.

The prize will be issued on December 10th in Stockholm.

The prize consists of a medal, a personal diploma and a cash award of 10 million Swedish kronor (1.4 million U.S. dollars).

By Xuefei Chen, People’s Daily Online, Stockholm
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