56-year-old German author Herta Müller has won the 2009 Nobel Prize in Literature. She grew up in Romania, struggling with the legacy of World War II, a harsh dictatorship, and the Soviet Union’s influence on her country.
In a brief press release, the judges described the novelist: “who, with the concentration of poetry and the frankness of prose, depicts the landscape of the dispossessed.” She beat some tough odds–the betting site Ladbrokes had Israeli author Amos Oz as the 4 to 1 favorite.
Here’s more about Müller, from her biography: “The Romanian national press was very critical of these works while, outside of Romania, the German press received them very positively. Because Müller had publicly criticized the dictatorship in Romania, she was prohibited from publishing in her own country. In 1987, Müller emigrated together with her husband, author Richard Wagner.”