Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

DEBATE

Europe's Plan for Putin - Will Russian Leader Bend After New Sanctions? (part 2)

Read more

DEBATE

Europe's Plan for Putin - Will Russian Leader Bend After New Sanctions?

Read more

FOCUS

Pakistan's Ahmadis living in fear of extremist attacks

Read more

WEB NEWS

Web users show solidarity with Iraqi Christians

Read more

THE INTERVIEW

Gilles Kepel, Islamic and Arab world specialist

Read more

BUSINESS DAILY

Argentina braced for another debt default

Read more

DEBATE

Too Late for Sanctions? Pressure Mounts on Russia over Ukraine (part 2)

Read more

DEBATE

Too Late for Sanctions? Pressure Mounts on Russia over Ukraine

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

'What would you do?'

Read more

  • US and EU slap Russia with fresh sanctions over Ukraine

    Read more

  • Scores killed as Israel ramps up Gaza bombardment

    Read more

  • Graphic: Ebola spreads across West Africa

    Read more

  • Prosecutor says captives were killed for organ harvesting in Kosovo

    Read more

  • In pictures: ن - a sign of support for Iraq’s persecuted Christians

    Read more

  • Calls mount to ban France’s ‘violent’ Jewish Defence League

    Read more

  • Venezuela: Hugo Chavez’s ‘little bird’ strikes again

    Read more

  • France extradites suspected Jewish Museum shooter to Belgium

    Read more

  • Video: How tourism is helping Rwanda’s gorillas, ex-poachers

    Read more

  • Rare Sri Lankan leopard cubs born in French zoo

    Read more

  • France evacuates its nationals from Libya

    Read more

  • US says Russia violated arms treaty by testing cruise missile

    Read more

  • Argentina in last-ditch effort to avert default

    Read more

  • In pictures: From Gaza to Mosul, bittersweet end of Ramadan for Muslims

    Read more

Culture

German writer Herta Mueller wins literature prize

Text by NEWS WIRES

Latest update : 2009-10-08

The 2009 Nobel Prize in Literature has been awarded to Herta Meuller, a Romanian-born German writer, for her works depicting the harsh conditions of life in Romania under dictator Nicolae Ceausescu's regime.

REUTERS - Romanian-born German writer Herta Mueller, who charted the hardships and humiliations of Nicolae Ceausescu's brutal regime, won the 2009 Nobel literature prize for depicting the "landscape of the dispossessed".


The Swedish Academy, which praised her "concentration of poetry and the frankness of prose," said that Mueller, 56, was speechless upon learning that she had been awarded the 10 million Swedish crown ($1.4 million) award.


"She was very, very happy. She said she lost her breath and it felt unreal and she was at a loss for words," the Academy's permanent secretary, Peter Englund, told Reuters, adding:


"But she promised me that when we meet again in December (for the awards ceremony) she would have found her words again."


Mueller is known for works such as "The Land of Green Plums" which she dedicated to Romanian friends killed under Ceausescu's Communist rule and "The Appointment" in which a Romanian woman sews notes saying "Marry Me" into suits of men bound for Italy.


"There is a real power to the way she writes ... she has an incredible message," Englund said. "Part of it is her own background as a victim of persecution in Romania but then she also has her own background as a stranger in her own country."

 


PERSECUTED BY SECURITATE


Mueller, whose mother was sent to a Soviet work camp for five years and who herself was harassed by the Romanian Securitate secret police after refusing to be an informer, made her debut in 1982 with a collection of short stories.


That work, "Niederungen", was censored in Romania. In it, and in her book "Drueckender Tango" (Oppressive Tango) published two years later, she wrote about corruption and repression in the German-speaking village of Nitzkydorf where she was born.


Her sensitive and insightful works reflect life under the rule of Ceausescu, who was overthrown and executed in 1989. She left Romania with her husband Richard Wagner in 1987 and now lives and works in Berlin.


Prize-winners over the last decade have been dominated by Europeans and some have criticised the Academy as being too narrow-minded in its world outlook. Mueller is the 12th woman to win the Nobel prize for literature.


Comments last year by then Permanent Secretary Horace Engdahl, who said that Americans did not participate in literature's "big dialogue", had led to speculation the committee might choose an American this year.


Bookmakers had Israeli novelist Amos Oz as favourite to win this year's prize, with Americans Joyce Carol Oates and Philip Roth as leading contenders.

Date created : 2009-10-08

COMMENT(S)