Nobel prize winner offers few options for English readers

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The Independent Culture

Romanian-born German author Herta Muller, recipient of the Nobel Prize for Literature on October 8, does not offer many options for English readers who wish to learn more about the obscure author.

Only five of her more than 20 books have been published in English, giving her few choices among consumers despite the immediate popularity bestowed upon Nobel laureates.

The Land of Green Plums jumped from 78,235th place to seventh place on the Amazon sales charts the day after the Nobel announcement, according to the Seattle-based company. The Passport made an ever greater leap, from 2,290,352 to the 209th spot.

But prior to her victory Muller was not well known in literary circles outside of Germany, much less elsewhere, according to The New York Times, resulting in few available translations.

Works such as Der Fuchs war damals schon der Jaeger and Der Koenig verneigt sich und toetet are being considered for translation, according to the German publisher, Carl Hanser Verlag.

Reprints for The Land of Green Plums and The Appointment are forthcoming, according to the two different publishers, but not in significant numbers.  

Her books generally concern graphic portrayals of the brutality suffered by the average person while living under totalitarian regimes. Her first work, a collection of short stories titled Nadirs, was published in Germany in 1984, two years after being censored by the Romanian authorities.

List of Herta Muller Works Available in English

Title Retail ($) Price ($)
The Land of Green Plums 17.00 10.20
Nadirs 16.95 11.70
The Appointment 15 10.20
The Passport 7.95 7.95
Traveling On One Leg 28.00 28.00