Herta Müller
Overview
 
Herta Müller is a Romanian-born German
Germans of Romania
The Germans of Romania or Rumäniendeutsche were 760,000 strong in 1930. They are not a single group; thus, to understand their language, culture, and history, one must view them as independent groups:...

 novelist, poet and essayist noted for her works depicting the effects of violence, cruelty and terror, usually in the setting of Communist Romania
Communist Romania
Communist Romania was the period in Romanian history when that country was a Soviet-aligned communist state in the Eastern Bloc, with the dominant role of Romanian Communist Party enshrined in its successive constitutions...

 under the repressive Nicolae Ceauşescu
Nicolae Ceausescu
Nicolae Ceaușescu was a Romanian Communist politician. He was General Secretary of the Romanian Communist Party from 1965 to 1989, and as such was the country's second and last Communist leader...

 regime which she experienced herself. Many of her works are told from the viewpoint of the German minority in Romania and are also a depiction of the modern history of the Germans in the Banat
Banat
The Banat is a geographical and historical region in Central Europe currently divided between three countries: the eastern part lies in western Romania , the western part in northeastern Serbia , and a small...

, and more broadly, Transylvania
Transylvania
Transylvania is a historical region in the central part of Romania. Bounded on the east and south by the Carpathian mountain range, historical Transylvania extended in the west to the Apuseni Mountains; however, the term sometimes encompasses not only Transylvania proper, but also the historical...

. Her much acclaimed 2009 novel Everything I Possess I Carry With Me
Everything I Possess I Carry With Me
Everything I Possess I Carry With Me is a novel by German Nobel Prize-winning author Herta Müller, published in 2009 by Carl Hanser Verlag....

 portrays the deportation
Deportation
Deportation means the expulsion of a person or group of people from a place or country. Today it often refers to the expulsion of foreign nationals whereas the expulsion of nationals is called banishment, exile, or penal transportation...

 of Romania's German minority to Stalinist
Stalinism
Stalinism refers to the ideology that Joseph Stalin conceived and implemented in the Soviet Union, and is generally considered a branch of Marxist–Leninist ideology but considered by some historians to be a significant deviation from this philosophy...

 Soviet Gulags
Gulag
The Gulag was the government agency that administered the main Soviet forced labor camp systems. While the camps housed a wide range of convicts, from petty criminals to political prisoners, large numbers were convicted by simplified procedures, such as NKVD troikas and other instruments of...

 during the Soviet occupation of Romania
Soviet occupation of Romania
The Soviet occupation of Romania refers to the period from 1944 to August 1958, during which the Soviet Union maintained a significant military presence in Romania...

 for use as German forced labor
Forced labor of Germans in the Soviet Union
Forced labor of Germans in the Soviet Union was considered by the Soviet Union to be part of German war reparations for the damage inflicted by Nazi Germany on the Soviet Union during World War II. German civilians in Eastern Europe were deported to the USSR after World War II as forced laborers...

.

Müller has been an internationally well-known author since the early 1990s, and her works have been translated into more than 20 languages.
Encyclopedia
Herta Müller is a Romanian-born German
Germans of Romania
The Germans of Romania or Rumäniendeutsche were 760,000 strong in 1930. They are not a single group; thus, to understand their language, culture, and history, one must view them as independent groups:...

 novelist, poet and essayist noted for her works depicting the effects of violence, cruelty and terror, usually in the setting of Communist Romania
Communist Romania
Communist Romania was the period in Romanian history when that country was a Soviet-aligned communist state in the Eastern Bloc, with the dominant role of Romanian Communist Party enshrined in its successive constitutions...

 under the repressive Nicolae Ceauşescu
Nicolae Ceausescu
Nicolae Ceaușescu was a Romanian Communist politician. He was General Secretary of the Romanian Communist Party from 1965 to 1989, and as such was the country's second and last Communist leader...

 regime which she experienced herself. Many of her works are told from the viewpoint of the German minority in Romania and are also a depiction of the modern history of the Germans in the Banat
Banat
The Banat is a geographical and historical region in Central Europe currently divided between three countries: the eastern part lies in western Romania , the western part in northeastern Serbia , and a small...

, and more broadly, Transylvania
Transylvania
Transylvania is a historical region in the central part of Romania. Bounded on the east and south by the Carpathian mountain range, historical Transylvania extended in the west to the Apuseni Mountains; however, the term sometimes encompasses not only Transylvania proper, but also the historical...

. Her much acclaimed 2009 novel Everything I Possess I Carry With Me
Everything I Possess I Carry With Me
Everything I Possess I Carry With Me is a novel by German Nobel Prize-winning author Herta Müller, published in 2009 by Carl Hanser Verlag....

 portrays the deportation
Deportation
Deportation means the expulsion of a person or group of people from a place or country. Today it often refers to the expulsion of foreign nationals whereas the expulsion of nationals is called banishment, exile, or penal transportation...

 of Romania's German minority to Stalinist
Stalinism
Stalinism refers to the ideology that Joseph Stalin conceived and implemented in the Soviet Union, and is generally considered a branch of Marxist–Leninist ideology but considered by some historians to be a significant deviation from this philosophy...

 Soviet Gulags
Gulag
The Gulag was the government agency that administered the main Soviet forced labor camp systems. While the camps housed a wide range of convicts, from petty criminals to political prisoners, large numbers were convicted by simplified procedures, such as NKVD troikas and other instruments of...

 during the Soviet occupation of Romania
Soviet occupation of Romania
The Soviet occupation of Romania refers to the period from 1944 to August 1958, during which the Soviet Union maintained a significant military presence in Romania...

 for use as German forced labor
Forced labor of Germans in the Soviet Union
Forced labor of Germans in the Soviet Union was considered by the Soviet Union to be part of German war reparations for the damage inflicted by Nazi Germany on the Soviet Union during World War II. German civilians in Eastern Europe were deported to the USSR after World War II as forced laborers...

.

Müller has been an internationally well-known author since the early 1990s, and her works have been translated into more than 20 languages. She has received more than 20 awards, including the 1994 Kleist Prize
Kleist Prize
The Kleist Prize is an annual German literature prize. The prize was first awarded in 1912, on the occasion of the hundredth anniversary of the death of Heinrich von Kleist. The Kleist Prize was the most important literary award of the Weimar Republic, but was discontinued in 1933.In 1985 the prize...

, the 1995 Aristeion Prize
Aristeion Prize
The Aristeion Prize is a European prize, awarded for significant contributions to contemporary literature, and exceptional translations of contemporary literature. The prize is awarded in a different Capital of Culture each year...

, the 1998 International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award
International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award
The International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award is an international literary award for a work of fiction, jointly sponsored by the city of Dublin, Ireland and the company IMPAC. At €100,000 it is one of the richest literary prizes in the world...

 and the 2009 Franz Werfel Human Rights Award
Franz Werfel Human Rights Award
The Franz Werfel Human Rights Award is an international human rights award in Europe. It is awarded to individuals or groups who, through political, artistic, philosophical or practical work, have opposed breaches of human rights by genocide, ethnic cleansing and the deliberate destruction of...

. On 8 October 2009 it was announced that she had been awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature
Nobel Prize in Literature
Since 1901, the Nobel Prize in Literature has been awarded annually to an author from any country who has, in the words from the will of Alfred Nobel, produced "in the field of literature the most outstanding work in an ideal direction"...

, with the Swedish Academy
Swedish Academy
The Swedish Academy , founded in 1786 by King Gustav III, is one of the Royal Academies of Sweden.-History:The Swedish Academy was founded in 1786 by King Gustav III. Modelled after the Académie française, it has 18 members. The motto of the Academy is "Talent and Taste"...

 describing her as a woman "who, with the concentration of poetry and the frankness of prose, depicts the landscape of the dispossessed".

Early life

Müller was born to Banat Swabian
Banat Swabians
The Banat Swabians are an ethnic German population in Southeast Europe, part of the Danube Swabians. They emigrated in the 18th century to what was then the Austrian Banat province, which had been left sparsely populated by the wars with Turkey. This once strong and important ethnic Banat Swabian...

 Catholic
Catholic
The word catholic comes from the Greek phrase , meaning "on the whole," "according to the whole" or "in general", and is a combination of the Greek words meaning "about" and meaning "whole"...

 farmers in Niţchidorf
Nitchidorf
Niţchidorf is a commune in Timiş County in the Banat region of Romania.- Geography :It is located in the southwest of Romania, at from Timişoara. Niţchidorf has 1,599 inhabitants , and a total area of . The commune is composed of three villages: Blajova, Duboz and Niţchidorf.- History :It was...

 , up to the 1980s a German-speaking village in the Romanian Banat in western Romania. Her family was part of Romania's German minority
Germans of Romania
The Germans of Romania or Rumäniendeutsche were 760,000 strong in 1930. They are not a single group; thus, to understand their language, culture, and history, one must view them as independent groups:...

. Her grandfather had been a wealthy farmer and merchant, but his property was confiscated by the communist regime. Her father had been a member of the Waffen SS during World War II
World War II
World War II, or the Second World War , was a global conflict lasting from 1939 to 1945, involving most of the world's nations—including all of the great powers—eventually forming two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis...

, and earned a living as a truck driver in Communist Romania. In 1945 her mother, then aged 17, was along with 100,000 others of the German minority deported
Deportation
Deportation means the expulsion of a person or group of people from a place or country. Today it often refers to the expulsion of foreign nationals whereas the expulsion of nationals is called banishment, exile, or penal transportation...

 to forced labor camps in the Soviet Union
Forced labor of Germans in the Soviet Union
Forced labor of Germans in the Soviet Union was considered by the Soviet Union to be part of German war reparations for the damage inflicted by Nazi Germany on the Soviet Union during World War II. German civilians in Eastern Europe were deported to the USSR after World War II as forced laborers...

, from which she was released in 1950. Her native language is German; she learned Romanian
Romanian language
Romanian Romanian Romanian (or Daco-Romanian; obsolete spellings Rumanian, Roumanian; self-designation: română, limba română ("the Romanian language") or românește (lit. "in Romanian") is a Romance language spoken by around 24 to 28 million people, primarily in Romania and Moldova...

 only in grammar school
Grammar school
A grammar school is one of several different types of school in the history of education in the United Kingdom and some other English-speaking countries, originally a school teaching classical languages but more recently an academically-oriented secondary school.The original purpose of mediaeval...

. She was a student of German studies
German studies
German studies is the field of humanities that researches, documents, and disseminates German language and literature in both its historic and present forms. Academic departments of German studies often include classes on German culture, German history, and German politics in addition to the...

 and Romanian literature at the Timişoara University
West University of Timisoara
The West University of Timişoara is a university located in Timişoara, Romania. Established in 1962, it is organized in 11 Faculties.-Organization:...

.

In 1976, Müller began working as a translator for an engineering factory, but was dismissed in 1979 for her refusal to cooperate with the Securitate
Securitate
The Securitate was the secret police agency of Communist Romania. Previously, the Romanian secret police was called Siguranţa Statului. Founded on August 30, 1948, with help from the Soviet NKVD, the Securitate was abolished in December 1989, shortly after President Nicolae Ceaușescu was...

, the Communist regime
Communist Romania
Communist Romania was the period in Romanian history when that country was a Soviet-aligned communist state in the Eastern Bloc, with the dominant role of Romanian Communist Party enshrined in its successive constitutions...

's secret police. After her dismissal she initially earned a living by teaching kindergarten
Kindergarten
A kindergarten is a preschool educational institution for children. The term was created by Friedrich Fröbel for the play and activity institute that he created in 1837 in Bad Blankenburg as a social experience for children for their transition from home to school...

 and giving private German lessons.

Career

Her first book, Niederungen (Nadirs), was published in Romania in German in 1982, in a state-censored version. The book was about a child's view of the German-cultural Banat. Müller was a member of Aktionsgruppe Banat
Aktionsgruppe Banat
The Aktionsgruppe Banat was a literary society that fought for freedom of speech, founded by German-speaking authors of the Banat Swabian minority in the Romanian Banat in 1972...

, a group of German-speaking writers in Romania who supported freedom of speech over the censorship they faced under Nicolae Ceauşescu
Nicolae Ceausescu
Nicolae Ceaușescu was a Romanian Communist politician. He was General Secretary of the Romanian Communist Party from 1965 to 1989, and as such was the country's second and last Communist leader...

's government, and her works, including The Land of Green Plums
The Land of Green Plums
The Land of Green Plums is a novel by Nobel Prize-winning author Herta Müller, published in 1994 by Rowohlt Verlag. Perhaps Müller's best-known work, the story portrays four young people living in a totalitarian police state under the Soviet-imposed communist dictatorship in Romania, ending with...

, deal with these issues. Radu Tinu, the Securitate officer in charge of her case, denies that she ever suffered any persecutions, a claim that is opposed by Müller's own version of her (ongoing) persecution in an article in the German weekly Die Zeit
Die Zeit
Die Zeit is a German nationwide weekly newspaper that is highly respected for its quality journalism.With a circulation of 488,036 and an estimated readership of slightly above 2 million, it is the most widely read German weekly newspaper...

 in July 2009.

After being refused permission to emigrate to West Germany in 1985, Müller was finally allowed to leave along with her husband, novelist Richard Wagner
Richard Wagner (novelist)
Richard Wagner is a Romanian-born German novelist. He has published a number of short stories, novels and essays....

, in 1987, and they settled in West Berlin
West Berlin
West Berlin was a political exclave that existed between 1949 and 1990. It comprised the western regions of Berlin, which were bordered by East Berlin and parts of East Germany. West Berlin consisted of the American, British, and French occupation sectors, which had been established in 1945...

, where they still live. In the following years she accepted lectureships at universities in Germany and abroad. Müller was elected to membership in the German Academy for Writing and Poetry
Deutsche Akademie für Sprache und Dichtung
The Deutsche Akademie für Sprache und Dichtung was founded on August 28, 1949—the 200th birthday of Johann Wolfgang von Goethe—in Paulskirche in Frankfurt...

 in 1995, and other honorary positions followed. In 1997 she withdrew from the PEN
International PEN
PEN International , the worldwide association of writers, was founded in London in 1921 to promote friendship and intellectual co-operation among writers everywhere....

 centre of Germany in protest of its merger with the former German Democratic Republic
German Democratic Republic
The German Democratic Republic , informally called East Germany by West Germany and other countries, was a socialist state established in 1949 in the Soviet zone of occupied Germany, including East Berlin of the Allied-occupied capital city...

 branch. In July 2008, Müller sent a critical open letter to Horia-Roman Patapievici
Horia-Roman Patapievici
Horia-Roman Patapievici is a Romanian physicist and essayist who currently serves as the head of the Romanian Cultural Institute. Between 2000 and 2005, he was a member of the National Council for the Study of the Securitate Archives, supporting more openness regarding the files of the...

, president of the Romanian Cultural Institute
Romanian Cultural Institute
The Romanian Cultural Institute is a state-funded institution that promotes Romanian culture and civilization in Romania and abroad. The ICR was formerly set up through reorganization of the Romanian Cultural Foundation and Romanian Cultural Publishing Foundation...

 in reaction to the moral and financial support given by the institute to two former informants of the Securitate participating at the Romanian-German Summer School.

In 2009, her novel Everything I Possess I Carry With Me
Everything I Possess I Carry With Me
Everything I Possess I Carry With Me is a novel by German Nobel Prize-winning author Herta Müller, published in 2009 by Carl Hanser Verlag....

  was nominated for the German Book Prize
German Book Prize
The German Book Prize is awarded annually by the Börsenverein des Deutschen Buchhandels, the German Publishers and Booksellers Association, to the best German language novel of the year. The winner is awarded € 25,000, the five shortlisted authors receive € 2,500 each...

 (Deutscher Buchpreis) but the prize was won by Kathrin Schmidt's book Du stirbst nicht. In this book, Müller describes the journey of a young man to a gulag in the Soviet Union
Soviet Union
The Soviet Union , officially the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics , was a constitutionally socialist state that existed in Eurasia between 1922 and 1991....

 as an example of the fate of the German population in Transylvania
Transylvania
Transylvania is a historical region in the central part of Romania. Bounded on the east and south by the Carpathian mountain range, historical Transylvania extended in the west to the Apuseni Mountains; however, the term sometimes encompasses not only Transylvania proper, but also the historical...

 after World War II. It was inspired by the experience of poet Oskar Pastior
Oskar Pastior
Oskar Pastior was a Romanian-born German poet and translator. He was the only German member of Oulipo....

, whose oral memories she had made notes of, but also by what happened to her own mother.

Critic Denis Scheck
Denis Scheck
Denis Scheck is a German literary critic and journalist.-Biography:Born in Stuttgart, he studied German studies, contemporary history and political science at the universities of Tübingen, Düsseldorf and Dallas, and earned a master's degree at the University of Texas at Dallas...

 described visiting Müller at her home in Berlin and seeing that her working desk contained a drawer full of single letters cut from a newspaper she had entirely destroyed. Realising that she used the letters "to recombine her own literary texts", he felt he had "entered the workshop of a true poet".

According to The Times Literary Supplement
The Times Literary Supplement
The Times Literary Supplement is a weekly literary review published in London by News International, a subsidiary of News Corporation.-History:...

, "The Passport is couched in the strange code engendered by repression: indecipherable because there is nothing specific to decipher, it is candid, but somehow beside the point, redolent of things unsaid. From odd observations the villagers sometimes make (“Man is nothing but a pheasant in the world”), to chapters titled after unimportant props (“The Pot Hole”, “The Needle”), everything points to a strategy of displaced meaning … Every such incidence of misdirection is the whole book in miniature, for although Ceausescu is never mentioned, he is central to the story, and cannot be forgotten. The resulting sense that anything, indeed everything – whether spoken by the characters or described by the author – is potentially dense with tacit significance means this short novel expands in the mind to occupy an emotional space far beyond its size or the seeming simplicity of its story."

2009 Awards

The Swedish Academy
Swedish Academy
The Swedish Academy , founded in 1786 by King Gustav III, is one of the Royal Academies of Sweden.-History:The Swedish Academy was founded in 1786 by King Gustav III. Modelled after the Académie française, it has 18 members. The motto of the Academy is "Talent and Taste"...

 awarded the 2009 Nobel Prize in Literature to Müller "who, with the concentration of poetry and the frankness of prose, depicts the landscape of the dispossessed.". The spokesman of the Swedish Academy compared Müller's style and her use of German as a minority language with Franz Kafka
Franz Kafka
Franz Kafka was a culturally influential German-language author of short stories and novels. Contemporary critics and academics, including Vladimir Nabokov, regard Kafka as one of the best writers of the 20th century...

 and pointed out the influence of Kafka on Müller. The award coincided with the 20th anniversary of the fall of communism. Michael Krüger, head of Müller's publishing house, stated: "By giving the award to Herta Müller, who grew up in a German-speaking minority in Romania, the committee has recognized an author who refuses to let the inhumane side of life under communism be forgotten"

She received the Franz Werfel Human Rights Award
Franz Werfel Human Rights Award
The Franz Werfel Human Rights Award is an international human rights award in Europe. It is awarded to individuals or groups who, through political, artistic, philosophical or practical work, have opposed breaches of human rights by genocide, ethnic cleansing and the deliberate destruction of...

 in the Frankfurt
Frankfurt
Frankfurt am Main , commonly known simply as Frankfurt, is the largest city in the German state of Hesse and the fifth-largest city in Germany, with a 2010 population of 688,249. The urban area had an estimated population of 2,300,000 in 2010...

 Paulskirche in November 2009, for her novel Everything I Possess I Carry With Me
Everything I Possess I Carry With Me
Everything I Possess I Carry With Me is a novel by German Nobel Prize-winning author Herta Müller, published in 2009 by Carl Hanser Verlag....

. The award was presented by Erika Steinbach
Erika Steinbach
' is a German conservative politician and president of the Federation of Expellees. She has been representing the Christian Democratic Union and the state of Hesse as a member of the Parliament of Germany, the Bundestag, since 1990...

. Ten survivors of Soviet concentration camps were present at the ceremony.

Influences

Although Müller has not publicly spoken at length on specific people or books that have influenced her on a literary level, she has attributed her roots to other sources, the most prominent of these being her university studies in German and Romanian literature. When comparing the two languages, she noted that a simple concept such as a falling star can be interpreted so differently. "We’re not only speaking about different words, but about different worlds. [For example] Romanians see a falling star and say that someone has died, with the Germans you make a wish when you see the falling star." Müller also went on to say that Romanian folk music holds a special place in her heart. "When I first heard Maria Tanase
Maria Tanase
Maria Tănase was a renowned Romanian singer of Romanian traditional or non-contemporary folklore.-Biography:Born in the Bucharest suburb of Cărămidari, Maria Tănase's Primary School was nr. 11 Tăbăcari. She made her stage debut in Cărămidarii de Jos, at the Ion Heliade Rădulescu High School...

 she sounded incredible to me, it was for the first time that I really felt what folklore meant. Romanian folk music is connected to existence in a very meaningful way."

Another strong source of influence has been Müller's ex-husband, Richard Wagner
Richard Wagner (novelist)
Richard Wagner is a Romanian-born German novelist. He has published a number of short stories, novels and essays....

. Their lives hold remarkable parallels: both grew up in Romania as members of the Banat Swabian ethnic group and enrolled in German and Romanian literary studies at Timişoara University
West University of Timisoara
The West University of Timişoara is a university located in Timişoara, Romania. Established in 1962, it is organized in 11 Faculties.-Organization:...

. Upon graduating, they worked as German language teachers, and were members of Aktionsgruppe Banat, a literary society that fought for freedom of speech. Like his ex-wife, Wagner is also a published novelist and essayist.

Müller's involvement with Aktionsgruppe Banat has also influenced the boldness with which she writes, despite the threats and trouble generated by the Romanian secret police. Although her books are fictional, they are based on real people and experiences. Her 1996 novel, The Land of Green Plums was written after the deaths of two friends, in which Müller suspected the involvement of the secret police, and one of its characters was based on a close friend from Aktionsgruppe Banat.

Works

  • Niederungen, short stories
    Short Stories
    Short Stories may refer to:*A plural for Short story*Short Stories , an American pulp magazine published from 1890-1959*Short Stories, a 1954 collection by O. E...

    , censored version published in Bucharest
    Bucharest
    Bucharest is the capital municipality, cultural, industrial, and financial centre of Romania. It is the largest city in Romania, located in the southeast of the country, at , and lies on the banks of the Dâmbovița River....

    , 1982. Uncensored version published in Germany 1984. Published in English as Nadirs in 1999 by the University of Nebraska Press.
  • Drückender Tango
    Drückender Tango
    Drückender Tango is a book by Nobel Prize-winning author Herta Müller. It was first published in 1984....

     ("Oppressive Tango"), stories, Bucharest, 1984
  • Der Mensch ist ein großer Fasan auf der Welt, Berlin, 1986. Published in English as The Passport
    The Passport
    The Passport is a novel by Nobel Prize-winning author Herta Müller, published in German in 1986. The German title refers to a saying in Romania...

    , Serpent's Tail
    Serpent's Tail
    Serpent's Tail is a British independent publishing firm founded in 1986 by Pete Ayrton. It is notable for its translated works, particularly European crime fiction, and is the British publisher of Elfriede Jelinek and Lionel Shriver...

    , 1989 ISBN 9781852421397
  • Barfüßiger Februar
    Barfüßiger Februar
    Barfüßiger Februar is a book by Nobel Prize-winning author Herta Müller. It was first published in 1987. The book consists of a series of short stories, each indicting conditions present in German speaking part of Romania, such as the wretched poverty seen in the Romanian countryside...

     ("Barefoot February"), Berlin, 1987
  • Reisende auf einem Bein, Berlin, 1989. Published in English as Traveling on One Leg
    Traveling on One Leg
    Traveling on One Leg is a novel by Nobel Prize-winning author Herta Müller, published in German in 1989 by Rotbuch Verlag. Published after Müller's emigration to Germany, it is cited in 2010's History of the Literary Cultures of East Central Europe, along with Der Teufel sitzt im Spiegel and The...

    , Hydra Books/Northwestern University Press
    Northwestern University Press
    Northwestern University Press is the university press of Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois, USA.- History :Northwestern University Press was founded in 1893, at first specializing in legal periodicals. Today, the Press publishes scholarly books of fiction, non-fiction, and literary...

    , 1998.
  • Wie Wahrnehmung sich erfindet
    Wie Wahrnehmung sich erfindet
    Wie Wahrnehmung sich erfindet is a book by Nobel Prize-winning author Herta Müller. It was first published in 1990....

     ("How Perception Invents Itself"), Paderborn, 1990
  • Der Teufel sitzt im Spiegel
    Der Teufel sitzt im Spiegel
    Der Teufel sitzt im Spiegel is a book by Nobel Prize-winning author Herta Müller. It was first published in 1991 after Müller's emigration to Germany and is cited in 2010's History of the Literary Cultures of East Central Europe, along with Traveling on One Leg and The Land of Green Plums, as...

     ("The Devil is Sitting in the Mirror"), Berlin, 1991
  • Der Fuchs war damals schon der Jäger
    Der Fuchs war damals schon der Jäger
    Der Fuchs war damals schon der Jäger is a book by Nobel Prize-winning author Herta Müller. It was first published in 1992....

     ("Even Back Then, the Fox Was the Hunter"), Reinbek bei Hamburg, 1992
  • Eine warme Kartoffel ist ein warmes Bett
    Eine warme Kartoffel ist ein warmes Bett
    Eine warme Kartoffel ist ein warmes Bett is a book by Nobel Prize-winning author Herta Müller. It was first published in 1992....

     ("A Warm Potato Is a Warm Bed"), Hamburg, 1992
  • Der Wächter nimmt seinen Kamm
    Der Wächter nimmt seinen Kamm
    Der Wächter nimmt seinen Kamm is a book by Nobel Prize-winning author Herta Müller. It was first published in 1993....

     ("The Guard Takes His Comb"), Reinbek bei Hamburg, 1993
  • Angekommen wie nicht da
    Angekommen wie nicht da
    Angekommen wie nicht da is a book by Nobel Prize-winning author Herta Müller. It was first published in 1994....

     ("Arrived As If Not There"), Lichtenfels, 1994
  • Herztier, Reinbek bei Hamburg, 1994. Published in an English translation by Michael Hofmann
    Michael Hofmann
    Michael Hofmann is a German-born poet who writes in English and a translator of texts from German.-Biography:...

     as The Land of Green Plums
    The Land of Green Plums
    The Land of Green Plums is a novel by Nobel Prize-winning author Herta Müller, published in 1994 by Rowohlt Verlag. Perhaps Müller's best-known work, the story portrays four young people living in a totalitarian police state under the Soviet-imposed communist dictatorship in Romania, ending with...

    , Metropolitan Books/Henry Holt & Company, New York, 1996
  • Hunger und Seide
    Hunger und Seide
    Hunger und Seide is a book of essays by Nobel Prize-winning author Herta Müller. It was first published in 1995....

     ("Hunger and Silk"), essays, Reinbek bei Hamburg, 1995
  • In der Falle
    In der Falle
    In der Falle is a book by Nobel Prize-winning author Herta Müller. It was first published in 1996....

     ("In a Trap"), Göttingen 1996
  • Heute wär ich mir lieber nicht begegnet, Reinbek bei Hamburg, 1997. Published in English as The Appointment
    The Appointment (novel)
    The Appointment is a novel by Nobel Prize-winning author Herta Müller, published in German in 1997. The novel, one of several for which the author was known when winning the Nobel in 2009, was published in English by Metropolitan Books and Picador, a Macmillan imprint, in 2001...

    , Metropolitan Books/Picador
    Picador (imprint)
    Picador is an imprint of Pan Macmillan in the United Kingdom and Australia and of Macmillan Publishing in the United States. Both companies are owned by Georg von Holtzbrinck Publishing Group....

    , New York/London, 2001
  • Der fremde Blick oder das Leben ist ein Furz in der Laterne
    Der fremde Blick oder das Leben ist ein Furz in der Laterne
    Der fremde Blick oder das Leben ist ein Furz in der Laterne is a book by Nobel Prize-winning author Herta Müller. It was first published in 1999. The book has received praise for its persuasiveness and its ability to explain, why her Romanian past influences her writing style....

     ("The Foreign View, or Life Is a Fart in a Lantern"), Göttingen, 1999
  • Im Haarknoten wohnt eine Dame
    Im Haarknoten wohnt eine Dame
    Im Haarknoten wohnt eine Dame is a book by Nobel Prize-winning author Herta Müller. It was first published in 2000....

     ("A Lady Lives in the Hair Knot"), poetry, Reinbek bei Hamburg, 2000
  • Heimat ist das, was gesprochen wird
    Heimat ist das, was gesprochen wird
    Heimat ist das, was gesprochen wird is a book by Nobel Prize-winning author Herta Müller. It was first published in 2001....

     ("Home Is What Is Spoken There"), Blieskastel, 2001
  • A Good Person Is Worth As Much As A Piece Of Bread, foreword published in Kent Klich's Children of Ceausescu by Journal, 2001 and Umbrage Editions, 2001. Published in Swedish as En god människa är lika mycket värd som ett stycke bröd in Kent Klich's Ceausescu's barn by Journal, 2001
  • Der König verneigt sich und tötet
    Der König verneigt sich und tötet
    Der König verneigt sich und tötet is an essay book in German by Nobel Prize-winning author Herta Müller. It was first published in 2003. Translations in Polish and Swedish were published in 2005...

     ("The King Bows and Kills"), essays, Munich (and elsewhere), 2003
  • Die blassen Herren mit den Mokkatassen
    Die blassen Herren mit den Mokkatassen
    Die blassen Herren mit den Mokkatassen is a book of poems and collage art by Nobel Prize-winning author Herta Müller. It was first published in 2005....

     ("The Pale Gentlemen with their Espresso Cups"), Munich (and elsewhere), 2005
  • Este sau nu este Ion
    Este sau nu este Ion
    Este sau nu este Ion is a poetry collection by Nobel Prize-winning author Herta Müller. It was first published in 2005....

     ("Is He or Isn't He Ion"), collage-poetry written and published in Romanian, Iaşi
    Iasi
    Iași is the second most populous city and a municipality in Romania. Located in the historical Moldavia region, Iași has traditionally been one of the leading centres of Romanian social, cultural, academic and artistic life...

    , Polirom, 2005
  • Atemschaukel, Munich, 2009. Published in English as Everything I Possess I Carry With Me
    Everything I Possess I Carry With Me
    Everything I Possess I Carry With Me is a novel by German Nobel Prize-winning author Herta Müller, published in 2009 by Carl Hanser Verlag....

    , Granta/ Metropolitan Books, 2009.

Editor

  • Theodor Kramer
    Theodor Kramer
    Theodor Kramer was an Austrian poet of Jewish origin. He was persecuted during the Second World War and fled to the United Kingdom. After his death his significant poetic output fell into obscurity, but has been rediscovered in recent decades. Several of his poems have been set to music.-...

    : Die Wahrheit ist, man hat mir nichts getan ("The Truth Is No One Did Anything to Me"), Vienna 1999
  • Die Handtasche ("The Purse"), Künzelsau 2001
  • Wenn die Katze ein Pferd wäre, könnte man durch die Bäume reiten ("If the Cat Were a Horse, You Could Ride Through the Trees"), Künzelsau 2001

Filmography

  • 1993 : Vulpe – vânător (Der Fuchs war damals schon der Jäger), directed by Stere Gulea, starring Oana Pellea, Dorel Vişan, George Alexandru etc.

Awards

  • 1981 Adam-Müller-Guttenbrunn
    Adam Müller-Guttenbrunn
    Adam Müller-Guttenbrunn was an Austrian author.-Biography:...

     Sponsored Prize the Temeswar Literature Circle
  • 1984 Aspekte Literature Prize
  • 1985 Rauris Literature Prize
  • 1985 Encouragement Prize of the Literature Award of Bremen
    Bremen
    The City Municipality of Bremen is a Hanseatic city in northwestern Germany. A commercial and industrial city with a major port on the river Weser, Bremen is part of the Bremen-Oldenburg metropolitan area . Bremen is the second most populous city in North Germany and tenth in Germany.Bremen is...

  • 1987 Ricarda-Huch Prize of Darmstadt
    Darmstadt
    Darmstadt is a city in the Bundesland of Hesse in Germany, located in the southern part of the Rhine Main Area.The sandy soils in the Darmstadt area, ill-suited for agriculture in times before industrial fertilisation, prevented any larger settlement from developing, until the city became the seat...

  • 1989 Marieluise-Fleißer Prize of Ingolstadt
    Ingolstadt
    Ingolstadt is a city in the Free State of Bavaria, in the Federal Republic of Germany. It is located along the banks of the Danube River, in the center of Bavaria. As at 31 March 2011, Ingolstadt had 125.407 residents...

  • 1989 German Language Prize, together with Gerhardt Csejka, Helmuth Frauendorfer, Klaus Hensel, Johann Lippet, Werner Söllner, William Totok, Richard Wagner
  • 1990 Roswitha Medal of Knowledge
    Roswitha Prize
    The Roswitha Prize is the oldest German language prize for literature that is given solely to women.The Roswitha-Medal has been given almost yearly since 1973 by the city of Bad Gandersheim....

     of Bad Gandersheim
    Bad Gandersheim
    Bad Gandersheim is a town in southern Lower Saxony, Germany, located in the district of Northeim. , it had a population 10,572.Bad Gandersheim has many half-timbered houses and is located on the German Framework Road .- Geography :...

  • 1991 Kranichsteiner Literature Prize
  • 1993 Critical Prize for Literature
  • 1994 Kleist Prize
    Kleist Prize
    The Kleist Prize is an annual German literature prize. The prize was first awarded in 1912, on the occasion of the hundredth anniversary of the death of Heinrich von Kleist. The Kleist Prize was the most important literary award of the Weimar Republic, but was discontinued in 1933.In 1985 the prize...

  • 1995 Aristeion Prize
    Aristeion Prize
    The Aristeion Prize is a European prize, awarded for significant contributions to contemporary literature, and exceptional translations of contemporary literature. The prize is awarded in a different Capital of Culture each year...

  • 1995/96 City-writer of Frankfurt-Bergen-Enkheim
    Frankfurt-Bergen-Enkheim
    Bergen-Enkheim is a district and an Ortsbezirk of the city of Frankfurt am Main in Germany. This eastern district is formed from the towns of Bergen and Enkheim...

  • 1997 Literature Prize of Graz
    Graz
    The more recent population figures do not give the whole picture as only people with principal residence status are counted and people with secondary residence status are not. Most of the people with secondary residence status in Graz are students...

  • 1998 Ida-Dehmel Literature Prize and the International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award
    International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award
    The International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award is an international literary award for a work of fiction, jointly sponsored by the city of Dublin, Ireland and the company IMPAC. At €100,000 it is one of the richest literary prizes in the world...

     for The Land of Green Plums
    The Land of Green Plums
    The Land of Green Plums is a novel by Nobel Prize-winning author Herta Müller, published in 1994 by Rowohlt Verlag. Perhaps Müller's best-known work, the story portrays four young people living in a totalitarian police state under the Soviet-imposed communist dictatorship in Romania, ending with...

  • 2001 Cicero Speaker Prize
  • 2002 Carl-Zuckmayer-Medaille of Rhineland-Palatinate
    Rhineland-Palatinate
    Rhineland-Palatinate is one of the 16 states of the Federal Republic of Germany. It has an area of and about four million inhabitants. The capital is Mainz. English speakers also commonly refer to the state by its German name, Rheinland-Pfalz ....

  • 2003 Joseph-Breitbach Prize (together with Christoph Meckel
    Christoph Meckel
    Christoph Meckel is a German author and graphic artist.- Life :Christoph Meckel spent his youth in Freiburg im Breisgau, where he attended Gymnasium. In 1954/55 he studied graphic art at the Academy of Art in Freiburg im Breisgau, and in 1956 at the Academy of Art in München.Since 1956 he has...

     and Harald Weinrich
    Harald Weinrich
    Harald Weinrich is a German classical scholar, scholar of Romance philology and philosopher, known for the breadth of his writings. He is emeritus professor of the Collège de France, and held the chair of Romance literature from 1992 to 1998.His doctorate and Habilitation were from the University...

    )
  • 2004 Literature Prize of Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung
  • 2005 Berlin Literature Prize
  • 2006 Würth Prize for European Literature und Walter-Hasenclever Literature Prize
  • 2009 Franz Werfel Human Rights Award
    Franz Werfel Human Rights Award
    The Franz Werfel Human Rights Award is an international human rights award in Europe. It is awarded to individuals or groups who, through political, artistic, philosophical or practical work, have opposed breaches of human rights by genocide, ethnic cleansing and the deliberate destruction of...

    , in particular for her novel Everything I Possess I Carry With Me
    Everything I Possess I Carry With Me
    Everything I Possess I Carry With Me is a novel by German Nobel Prize-winning author Herta Müller, published in 2009 by Carl Hanser Verlag....

  • 2009 Nobel Prize in Literature
    Nobel Prize in Literature
    Since 1901, the Nobel Prize in Literature has been awarded annually to an author from any country who has, in the words from the will of Alfred Nobel, produced "in the field of literature the most outstanding work in an ideal direction"...

  • 2010 Hoffmann von Fallersleben Prize
    Hoffmann von Fallersleben Prize
    The Hoffmann von Fallersleben Prize is an international literary award, awarded by the Hoffmann von Fallersleben Society in memory of poet August Heinrich Hoffmann von Fallersleben, to authors "whose literary, historical or journalistic work demonstrates independent thinking or encourages others...


Further reading

  • Nina Brodbeck, Schreckensbilder, Marburg 2000.
  • Thomas Daum (ed.), Herta Müller, Frankfurt am Main 2003.
  • Norbert Otto Eke (ed.), Die erfundene Wahrnehmung, Paderborn 1991.
  • Valentina Glajar, "The Discourse of Discontent: Politics and Dictatorship in Hert Müller's Herztier." The German Legacy in East Central Europe. As Recorded in Recent German Language Literature Ed. Valentina Glajar. Camden House, Rochester NY 2004. 115–160.
  • Valentina Glajar, "Banat-Swabian, Romanian, and German: Conflicting Identities in Herta Muller's Herztier." Monatshefte 89.4 (Winter 1997): 521-40.
  • Maria S. Grewe, "Imagining the East: Some Thoughts on Contemporary Minority Literature in Germany and Exoticist Discourse in Literary Criticism." Germany and the Imagined East. Ed. Lee Roberts. Cambridge, 2005.
  • Maria S. Grewe, Estranging Poetic: On the Poetic of the Foreign in Select Works by Herta Müller and Yoko Tawada, New York: Columbia UP, 2009.
  • Brigid Haines, '"The Unforgettable Forgotten": The Traces of Trauma in Herta Müller's Reisende auf einem Bein, German Life and Letters, 55.3 (2002), 266–81.
  • Brigid Haines and Margaret Littler, Contemporary German Women's Writing: Changing the Subject, Oxford: Oxford UP, 2004.
  • Brigid Haines (ed.), Herta Müller. Cardiff 1998.
  • Martin A. Hainz
    Martin A. Hainz
    Martin Andreas Hainz is an Austrian philologist, theorist and philosopher. He has taught at several universities in Europe and the United States, among them the universities of Vienna, Timişoara and Iaşi. He is a member of the Northeastern Language Association...

    , "Den eigenen Augen blind vertrauen? Über Rumänien." Der Hammer – Die Zeitung der Alten Schmiede 2 (Nov. 2004): 5–6.
  • Herta Haupt-Cucuiu: Eine Poesie der Sinne ("A Poetry of the Senses"), Paderborn, 1996.
  • Herta Müller, Berlin, 1992.
  • Herta Müller, Munich, 2002.
  • Ralph Köhnen (ed.), Der Druck der Erfahrung treibt die Sprache in die Dichtung: Bildlickeit in Texten Herta Müllers, Frankfurt am Main: Peter Lang, 1997.
  • Lyn Marven, Body and Narrative in Contemporary Literatures in German: Herta Müller, Libuse Moníková, Kerstin Hensel. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2005.
  • Grazziella Predoiu, Faszination und Provokation bei Herta Müller, Frankfurt am Main, 2000.
  • Diana Schuster, Die Banater Autorengruppe: Selbstdarstellung und Rezeption in Rumänien und Deutschland. Konstanz: Hartung-Gorre-Verlag, 2004.
  • Carmen Wagner, Sprache und Identität. Oldenburg, 2002.

External links

  • Herta Müller, short biography by Professor of German Beverley Driver Eddy at Dickinson College
    Dickinson College
    Dickinson College is a private, residential liberal arts college in Carlisle, Pennsylvania. Originally established as a Grammar School in 1773, Dickinson was chartered September 9, 1783, five days after the signing of the Treaty of Paris, making it the first college to be founded in the newly...

  • Herta Müller: Bio, excerpts, interviews and articles in the archives of the Prague Writers' Festival
  • Herta Müller, at complete review
    Complete review
    complete review is a literary website founded in March 1999. It is best known for reviews of novels in English translation, in particular drawing attention to otherwise neglected contemporary works from around the world, but there are also reviews of classics, non-fiction, drama and poetry...

  • Herta Müller, profile by International Literature Festival Berlin
    International literature festival berlin
    right|alt=alt text|logo ILB|thumb|ILB logoThe International Literature Festival Berlin also known as ILB,is an annual event based in Berlin. The festival takes place in early autumn and its purpose is to present contemporary developments in prose and poetry from all around the world...

    . Retrieved on 7 October 2009
  • Herta Müller interview by Radio Romania International
    Radio Romania International
    Radio România Internaţional is a Romanian radio station owned by the Romanian public radio broadcaster Societatea Română de Radiodifuziune that broadcasts abroad.According to the Romanian law nr...

     on Aug 17, 2007. Retrieved on 7 October 2009
  • "Securitate in all but name", by Herta Müller. About her ongoing fight with the Securitate, August 2009
  • "Everything I Own I Carry with Me", excerpt from the novel. September 2009
  • Poetry and Labor Camp: Literature Nobel Laureate Herta Müller Goethe-Institut
    Goethe-Institut
    The Goethe-Institut is a non-profit German cultural institution operational worldwide, promoting the study of the German language abroad and encouraging international cultural exchange and relations. The Goethe-Institut also fosters knowledge about Germany by providing information on German...

    , December 2009
  • "The Evil of Banality" - A review of The Appointment by Costica Bradatan The Globe and Mail
    The Globe and Mail
    The Globe and Mail is a nationally distributed Canadian newspaper, based in Toronto and printed in six cities across the country. With a weekly readership of approximately 1 million, it is Canada's largest-circulation national newspaper and second-largest daily newspaper after the Toronto Star...

    , February 2010
  • Herta Müller: The 2009 Laureate of the Nobel Prize in Literature An article in Yemen Times
    Yemen Times
    The Yemen Times is unified Yemen's first and most widely-read independent English-language newspaper. The paper is published twice-weekly and has its own printing press, advertising associates and news service....

     newspaper.
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