12 October 2009

Nobel Prize for literature

The winner of the 2009 Nobel Prize for Literature is Herta Muller "who, with the concentration of poetry and the frankness of prose, depicts the landscape of the dispossessed".

Her first book Nadirs (Niederungen, 1982, first published with full, uncensored text in 1984) describes life in a small village from a child's point of view and, like all her work, is brutally frank about corruption and cruelty, whether shown by Romanians, or by the German minority. She expands details of ordinary life into fantastic images, words are used unconventionally and horror and absurdity are mixed with extreme poeticism. German is Müller's mother tongue, but she uses German from another time and place, and in her essays Der König verneigt sich und tötet (2003) she discusses the importance of language as identity and exemplifies ways that language is used by the majority to brand immigrants and outsiders.

Click here to read more about Herta on the Nobel Prize web site.