Thursday, 8 October 2009

Herta Müller Takes Nobel Prize

It's official! The Romanian-German writer Herta Müller gets this year's Nobel Prize for Literature. I'm thrilled. They tell us she "with the concentration of poetry and the frankness of prose, depicts the landscape of the dispossessed." I couldn't agree more.

You can read her in English online at sign and sight, on reading her securitate file and an extract from her new novel Atemschaukel translated by Donal McLaughlin - himself no stranger to ethnic persecution in a totalitarian system, seeing as he moved from Northern Ireland to Scotland as a child. Rights have been sold to Britain and the US, so look out for the book on a shelf near you in the future.

You can read five of her previous books in English translation as well. See the Complete Review for an overview.

Update: Apparently, Müller's reaction was "Damn, now I won't get the German Book Prize."


Lyn said...

Funny, that was my first thought about her winning the Nobel too! (that she wouldn't also get the book prize, I mean).
Fantastic news!

David said...

I'm afraid I've never read anything by Herta Mueller.

Where to start? Herztier?

kjd said...

That's what people are telling me, David. I've just started my first whole book of hers, the new Atemschaukel. And it really is as astounding and fascinating and beautiful and terrible as I thought it would be.

Lyn said...

Atemschaukel is fascinating but not I think typical of her work to date - Herztier is probably the best one to start with, stark, poetic and horrifying. My personal favourite is her 'Berlin novel', Reisende auf einem Bein, however.

David said...

Midway through Herztier. Not at all what I expected - which is possibly a good thing!