The Romanian-born German author Herta MÃ¼ller has won the 2009 Nobel Prize for Literature. If you’ve never heard of her before, that’s understandable: while she’s widely read in Eastern Europe and is one of Germany’s most acclaimed novelists, only four of MÃ¼ller’s books have appeared in English, the most recent translation of her work being 2001’s The Appointment. MÃ¼ller’s novel, The Land of Green Plums, won the 1998 International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award.
Among English-language media, MÃ¼ller’s win has caused some head-scratching and the odd complaint that the Swedish Academy should get out more. A roundup of coverage:
- MÃ¼ller is profiled by The New York Times, the BBC, and Times Online
- In a mostly positive review, New York Times reviewer Peter Filkins writes that The Appointment is “more a test of endurance than a pleasure”
- The Associated Press offers a partial list of MÃ¼ller’s work, while the Complete Review offers a more extensive overview
- Writing in Time magazine, Lev Grossman says that MÃ¼ller’s surprise pick is really no surprise at all
- A blogger at Entertainment Weekly complains that the Swedish Academy has “once again … selected a virtual unknown,” before confessing to being a myopic American poorly read in non-English lit