Life is Literature for Herta Muller

Herta Muller
Herta Muller

It was announced Thursday that Herta Muller was the winner of the 2009 Nobel Prize in Literature.  Muller, who is 56, has based most of her books on the brutal Communist dictatorship of Nicolae Ceausescu. Speaking to journalists, Muller stated, “I believe that literature always goes precisely there where the damage to a person has been done…I didn’t choose this topic, it was thrust upon me.”

Last year, the Nobel committee pegged the American literary culture as being too “isolated and insular” leaving us tagged as a bit-player in the global literary picture. The insinuation claims that because of our shortsightedness,  American works don’t  translate across the great cultural divide. Last year’s winner was Frenchman Jean-Marie Gustave Le Clezio.

Regardless, Herta Muller will take home the 1.4 million dollar prize and join the ranks among the other 11 women who have won the prestigious literary prize, including Toni Morrison and Doris Lessing.

Herta Muller is not a household name, and truth be told I’ve never heard of her.  However, that is often the way my literary doors open; one name leads to the next creating a fresh, alternative exposure. Muller’s titles on amazon have already soared in sales since the Nobel announcement, as well as the snapping for English title rights.

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