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Herta Muller: Fear made me write

8th December 2009

Romanian writer Herta Muller has said that fear of the communist regime in her native country inspired her to put pen to paper.

The Land of Green Plums author, who received this year's Nobel Prize for Literature, spoke at the Swedish Academy in Stockholm on Monday (December 6th) and said that living under Nicolae Ceausescu's dictatorship gave her a passion for writing.

Muller spoke of one incident when she was interrogated by an official of the communist regime and told to become an informant, which she refused to do and started her writing career.

This event gave her the impetus to write: 'What was happening could no longer be expressed in speech. I was reacting to the fear of death with a thirst for life.'

In her Nobel lecture, the 56-year-old also paid tribute to all the people who have been forced to live under a dictatorship.

Last month, independent publisher Portobello Books acquired the rights to the English edition of Muller's next novel Atemschaukel, her previous novel The Fox Was the Hunter Even Then and a collection of selected essays.

© W&G Foyle Ltd
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