German Writer Herta Mueller Wins 2009 Nobel Prize
Sorry, Joyce, not this year.
Despite recent pro-American comments by a member of the Nobel literature prize, writers in the United States failed again to win the world's most prestigious award.
Instead, the Nobel Prize for Literature went to a Romanian-born novelist and poet named Herta Mueller. The winner of a number of awards in Europe, the 56-year-old writer, who now lives in Berlin, is not well known in this country, where her works have appeared infrequently.
In 2002, Picador released a paperback edition of "The Appointment" about life under the repressive communist regime in Romania. Her third novel, "The Land of Green Plums," was favorably reviewed in the New York Times in 1996.
The Swedish Academy said this morning that Mueller writes "with the concentration of poetry and the frankness of prose [and] depicts the landscape of the dispossessed." The $1.4 million prize will be given in Stockholm on Dec. 10.
Last year, a member of the Nobel literature jury angered writers and critics in the United States by claiming that "Europe still is the center of the literary world" and that American writers were too trendy and pop to win the Nobel. But just two days ago, a prominent member of the literature jury, Peter Englund, seemed to signal a shift in that attitude when he suggested that America was back in the running. The prolific novelist Joyce Carol Oates was high on many lists of potential winners (although Israel's Amos Oz was considered the frontrunner.) The last American winner was Toni Morrison in 1993.
* This version corrects an earlier version that incorrectly attributed the comment about the trendiness of American literature to Peter Englund.
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