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Saturday, October 10, 2009

Favorite wins the Booker, while surprise German Romanian author wins the Nobel

In a heavyweight literary contest with among others "Children's Book" by AS Byatt (FBC Review) and "Little Stranger" by Sarah Waters (FBC Capsule Review), the odds on favorite "Wolf Hall" by Hilary Mantel won the 2009 Booker prize. Described as "being like an epic fantasy without any actual dragons and the like in it, it is a 600-page saga of ambition and double-dealing set in Tudor England", there were predictable outcries about the supposed need for "relevance" - whatever that means - but overall the reaction has been favorable.

Since the book is published Tuesday October 13 here in the US, I plan to get a copy asap and then after I read it, I will write a review (or a capsule review if circumstances do not allow for a full one) here to complement the other two Booker shortlisted books mentioned above that are either speculative fiction (Waters) or associational (Byatt).


In quite unexpected news, the Romanian/German author Herta Muller has won the 2009 Nobel prize for literature.

Despite that she lived in Romania from her birth in 1953 until 1987 when she left for West Germany, I have not heard of her name before. Though she had two (censored, full version published later in Berlin) books published in Romania in the period there and I was following the literary scene closely in my corresponding high school/college years then, she was writing in German so probably that was the reason I missed her work at the time.

I plan to remedy this and will check out some of her works that are translated in English, like "The Appointment", "The Land of Green Plums" or "Traveling on One Leg".


kyodnb said...

She`s now more German than Romanian :D... it`s a shame and a pitty that we, the romanians, don`t know how to reward and appreciate our talents in their lifetime.

Mihai (Dark Wolf) said...

Actually, I believe she is a German born in Romania. Until last week I didn't know who is Herta Muller, because nobody bothered here to mention her being Romanian. And all of the sudden all the media jumps in with material about the Romanian who won the Nobel Prize. I am sorry but I find this to be quite late. Why nobody mentioned her as being Romanian for the last two years when Herta Muller was on the list for Nobel as well?

Liviu, I believe that Herta Muller published only one volume in Romanian.

Liviu said...

From the Wikipedia link, it seems she has two books published in Romania but both in German.

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