April 23, 2012 Nobel Laureate Herta Müller Reads at Library, May 15

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The Library of Congress, in collaboration with the Goethe-Institut, will present a reading and discussion with Herta Müller, winner of the Nobel Prize in Literature in 2009.

The event will take place at 6:30 p.m. on Tuesday, May 15, in the Montepelier Room on the sixth floor of the James Madison Building, 101 Independence Ave. S.E., Washington, D.C. Co-sponsored by the Poetry and Literature Center and the European Division of the Library of Congress, the program is free and open to the public. No tickets or reservations are required. Book sales and signing will follow the event.

The program will include a reading by Müller, who is a novelist, poet and essayist, and a discussion moderated by Peter Pfeiffer, professor of German at Georgetown University.

Müller was born in 1953 in the Banat region of Romania. Her mother was among many in the German-speaking Romanian minority who were deported to serve in Soviet forced-labor camps following World War II. While studying literature at the university in Timişoara, Müller became active with Aktionsgruppe Banat, a coterie of young German-speaking authors who fought the censorship of the Ceauşescu regime. In 1979, she lost a position as a translator in a machine factory when she refused to become an informer for the Romanian secret police. After criticizing the Romanian dictatorship in the German media, she experienced years of harassment, according to the Nobel Prize biographical information on Müller. She emigrated to Germany in 1987.

Müller’s personal experience and the political climate of Eastern Europe in the second half of the 20th century have left an indelible mark on her body of work. When Müller received the Nobel Prize, the judges’ committee lauded her as a writer “who, with the concentration of poetry and the frankness of prose, depicts the landscape of the dispossessed.”

Her novels available in English include “Traveling on One Leg,” “The Passport,” “The Appointment,” and “The Land of Green Plums.” “The Hunger Angel” is forthcoming from Metropolitan Books.

The European Division is responsible for providing reference and for developing the Library’s collections relating to continental Europe except for Iberia, the United Kingdom, and Ireland. For more information, visit www.loc.gov/rr/european/.

The Poetry and Literature Center at the Library of Congress fosters and enhances the public’s appreciation of literature. The center administers the endowed poetry chair (the U.S. Poet Laureate), and coordinates an annual literary season of poetry, fiction and drama readings, performances, lectures and symposia, sponsored by the Library’s Gertrude Clarke Whittall Poetry and Literature Fund and the Huntington Fund. For more information, visit www.loc.gov/poetry/.

The Library of Congress, the nation’s oldest federal cultural institution and the largest library in the world, holds nearly 147 million items in various languages, disciplines and formats. The Library serves the U.S. Congress and the nation both on-site in its reading rooms on Capitol Hill and through its award-winning website at www.loc.gov.


PR 12-085
ISSN 0731-3527