Friday, 16 October 2009
Nobel Prize in Literature 2009
Herta Müller has been awarded the 2009 Nobel Prize for Literature. The Nobel judges praised Müller as a writer "who, with the concentration of poetry and the frankness of prose, depicts the landscape of the dispossessed". Born in Romania in 1953, Müller refused to cooperate with Ceausescu's Securitate, lost her job as a teacher and was the subject of repeated threats until she emigrated in 1987. She returns constantly to the themes of oppression, exile and dictatorship in her novels and poems. She won the 1998 International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award for her novel The Land of Green Plums, of which she said, "I wrote this book in memory of my Romanian friends who were killed under the Ceausescu regime. I felt it was my duty". Worth 10m Swedish kronor (over 1 million euro), the Nobel Prize for Literature is awarded to "the person who shall have produced in the field of literature the most outstanding work in an ideal direction", as described in Alfred Nobel's will of 1895. Müller is the 12th woman in 108 years to win the award.