Our Desperate Plea to Herta Müller Fans

Brow Beat
Slate's Culture Blog
Oct. 8 2009 4:38 PM

Our Desperate Plea to Herta Müller Fans

The Swedish Academy picked

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this morning. Here in the

Slate

offices, we greeted the announcement with a resounding "Who?"



Joyce Carol Oates and Philip Roth were

, but the Nobel Committee has a habit of ignoring American authors (as noted in

) and celebrating obscure ones (Jean-Marie Gustave Le Clézio, Elfriede Jelinek, Imre Kertész, etc.)—especially when they come from third-world countries or nations formerly under Soviet rule. The Romanian-born

who has written largely about the brutality of life under Romanian dictator Nicolae Ceausescu, saw her

on the British betting markets in recent days. So maybe someone on

Slate

's staff should have seen this victory coming and read Müller's books in translation. Because no one did, Müller's initial reaction had a special resonance: "I am very surprised and still cannot believe it. I can't say anything more at the moment."



We're hoping that you,

Slate

readers, are not quite so tongue-tied. Are there any Müller fans out there? If you've read any of her books, essays, or poems in English, German, Romanian, or any other language, and have a take, any take, please e-mail

. The best responses will be excerpted here in a future post.



Jeremy Stahl is a Slate senior editor. You can follow him on Twitter.

 

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