This volume is a critical companion to the works of Herta Müller, winner of the Nobel Prize in Literature in 2009. Müller (1953-) is a Romanian-German novelist, essayist and producer of collages whose work has been compared with that of W.G. Sebald and Franz Kafka. The Nobel Committee described her as a writer 'who, with the concentration of poetry and the frankness of prose, depicts the landscape of the dispossessed'. In works such as Niederungen (Nadirs), Herztier (The Land of Green Plums), Reisende auf einem Bein (Traveling on One Leg), and Atemschaukel (The Hunger Angel), all written in German but translated worldwide, Müller addresses vital contemporary issues such as dictatorship, migration, memory, and the ongoing legacy of fascist and communist rule in Europe. Her works are written in a rich, poetic language which imbues them with great power and depth. They exceed national boundaries and have universal appeal; they speak to a global audience attuned to political oppression and its lasting effects.
This volume, containing contributions by an international team of scholars, introduces the work of one of Europe's foremost contemporary writers to a world audience. Individual chapters deal with Müller's major works and her volumes of collages. Other chapters explore her poetics and the Romanian background as well as themes, such as gender and life writing, running throughout her work, and her worldwide reception through the media and the medium of translation.