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Herta Muller
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    (August 17, 1953- )
    Born in Nitchidorf, Romania
    Novelist, short story writer and poet
    Member of Romania's ethnic German minority
    Emigrated to West Germany (1987)
    Wrote 'Nadirs' (1982), 'Oppressive Tango' (1984), 'The Passport' (1986), 'Traveling on One Leg' (1989), 'The Land of Green Plums' (1994), 'The Appointment' (1997) and 'The Hunger Angel' (2009)
    Won the Nobel Prize in Literature (2009)
    Her father served in the Waffen SS during World War II.
    The Securitate (Romanian secret police) officer who spied on her claimed that she was handled 'with kid gloves,' and that her claims of constant harassment were a delusion: 'She has no contact with external reality.'
    She claimed that being interviewed by the press was like reliving a Securitate interrogation.
    Romanian journalist Cristian Tudor Popescu said her reputation was based less on her literary merits than her willingness to denounce the Ceausescu regime: 'When she got the [Nobel] Prize, she spoke about the dictatorship, but not about literature, as if she were Nelson Mandela.'
    She is a chain smoker.
    Her mother spent five years in a Soviet labor camp after World War II.
    She said her family history helped her oppose Ceausescu: 'My father was 17 when he joined the SS. I thought, I'm nearly his age, in a dictatorship, a different one. If I accommodate myself to it, I can't object to what he did.'
    She was fired from jobs as a translator and as a teacher for refusing to become an informer for the Securitate.
    Her Securitate file runs to 914 pages. (Makes you wonder how large it would be if they had taken off the 'kid gloves.')
    She would evade the Securitate by meeting with her proofreader in the forest.

Credit: C. Fishel

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