Posted Thursday, Oct. 8, 2009, at 4:38 PM
The Swedish Academy picked
this morning. Here in the
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
'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,
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.