Herta Müller, the Romanian-born German novelist and essayist who has written widely about the oppression of dictatorship in her native country and the unmoored life of the political exile, on Thursday won the 2009 Nobel Prize for Literature.
Announcing the award in Stockholm, the Swedish Academy described Ms. Müller, “who, with the concentration of poetry and the frankness of prose, depicts the landscape of the dispossessed.” Her award comes on the 20th anniversary of the fall of Communism in Europe.
Ms. Müller, 56, emigrated to Germany in 1987 after years of persecution and censorship in Romania. She is the first German writer to win the Nobel award since Günter Grass in 1999. Just four of her works have been translated into English, including the novels “The Land of Green Plums” and “The Appointment.”
In the press conference making the announcement in Stockholm, Peter Englund, permanent secretary of the Swedish Academy, said Ms. Müller had been honored because of her “very, very distinct special language, on the one hand, and on the other hand she has really a story to tell about growing up in a dictatorship . . . and growing up as a stranger in your own family.”
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