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Herta Muller 'avoided secret police in forest'

22nd March 2010

Herta Muller has told the Leipzig Book Fair how she used to work on her books in secret to avoid Romania's Securitate communist secret police.

The Nobel literature prize winner explained that she used to meet her German proof-reader in the forest to prevent the security force from finding out about her works, the Deutsche Presse-Agentur reported.

'I was a young author from the end of the world and she was a great proof-reader from the centre of the world - from Germany,' the 56-year-old added.

Nadirs, Muller's prose debut, was published in Bucharest in 1982 in a censored form. However, the original draft was later released in full in the west, after a copy of the book was smuggled out of Romania in 1984.

The author fled the country in 1987 when her writings about life under the dictatorship of communist leader Nicolae Ceausescu brought her to the attention of the Securitate.

In December, Muller told the Swedish Academy that she started writing after refusing to become an informant for the regime. She explained that the fear of death drove her to pick up her pen and pay tribute to all those forced to live under dictatorships.

© W&G Foyle Ltd
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