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The critical reception of Herta Müller in the German and English printed media before and after the Nobel Prize for Literature 2009

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After being awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 2009, Herta Müller attained great prominence around the world. Commentators, especially in English-speaking countries, seemed shocked by the decision. One of

After being awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 2009, Herta Müller attained great prominence around the world. Commentators, especially in English-speaking countries, seemed shocked by the decision. One of the primary concerns was that Müller was relatively unknown. This thesis seeks to address this and other concerns by looking at reviews of her works in German- and English-language publications both before and after the Nobel Prize was awarded. This thesis analyses chronologically the reception of her books beginning with Niederungen in 1982 and ending with the reception of her novel Atemschaukel in 2009. It compares the reception of the original German text to that of the English translation; therefore only works which have been translated and published in English are discussed. The study also shows that while Müller's work did not top the bestseller charts, at least before the Nobel Prize, she was hardly the completely unknown author that some in the English-language media believed. This thesis seeks to present trends in the reception as well as provide a basis for further study of the reception of Herta Müller.

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  • 2011