Our Desperate Plea to Herta Müller Fans
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


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.

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


  Slate Plus
Slate Archives
Nov. 26 2015 10:00 AM Slate Voice: “If It Happened There,” Thanksgiving Edition Josh Keating reads his piece on America’s annual festival pilgrimage.