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October 9, 2009

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Mueller wins the Nobel for literature

ROMANIAN-BORN German writer Herta Mueller won the 2009 Nobel Prize for literature yesterday.

The 56-year-old author was honored for work that "with the concentration of poetry and the frankness of prose, depicts the landscape of the dispossessed," the Swedish Academy said.

The decision was expected to keep alive the controversy surrounding the academy's pattern of awarding the prize to European writers.

"If you are European (it is) easier to relate to European literature," Peter Englund, the permanent secretary of the Swedish Academy, told The Associated Press. "It's the result of psychological bias that we really try to be aware of. It's not the result of any program."

Mueller made her debut in 1982 with a collection of short stories titled "Niederungen," depicting the harshness of life in a small, German-speaking village in Romania.

Mueller is the third European to win the prize in a row and the 10th German, joining Guenter Grass in 1999 and Heinrich Boell in 1972.

Most of her work is in German, but some books have been translated into English, French and Spanish, including "The Passport" and "The Land of Green Plums."


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