2009 Nobel Prize for Literature


Herta Müller, the Romanian-born German novelist and essayist, has won the 2009 Nobel Prize for Literature. Müller, fifty-six, is internationally renowned for her portrayal of life under dictatorship. Announcing the 2009 award, the Swedish Academy praised Müller, ‘who, with the concentration of poetry and the frankness of prose, depicts the landscape of the dispossessed’.

Müller’s first German-language works were censored in Romania for their brutal, graphic depictions of Ceausescu’s oppressive regime. The manuscript for Niederungen (Lowlands) was smuggled into Germany and received instant critical acclaim upon publication there.

Müller is the first German writer to win the Nobel Prize since Günter Grass in 1999. Her award falls on the twentieth anniversary of the fall of Communism in Europe. Müller continues to speak out against totalitarianism and collaboration today.

The award will be presented at a ceremony in Stockholm on December 10. As the winner, Müller will receive ten million Swedish kronor (approximately £892,000 or $1.4 million). more

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