The Swedish Academy on Thursday announced that Romanian-born German writer Herta Mueller, and not Israeli author Amos Oz, has won the 2009 Nobel Prize in literature.
According to odds published by UK betting shop Ladbrokes, Oz, one the most influential and well-regarded intellectuals in Israel, was estimated to have a 4 to 1 chance of winning the
The Swedish Academy said Thursday that Mueller was honored for work that "with the concentration of poetry and the frankness of prose, depicts the landscape of the dispossessed."
The 56-year-old author, who emigrated to Germany from then-communist Romania in 1987, made her debut in 1982 with a collection of short stories titled "Niederungen," which was promptly censored by the Romanian government. In 1984 an uncensored version was published in Germany and her work depicting life in a small, German-speaking village in Romania was devoured by readers.
That work was followed by "Oppressive Tango" in Romania.
Because of her vocal criticism of Romania's government, and its feared secret police, she and her husband left the country.
The prize includes a 10 million kronor ($1.4 million) prize and will be handed out December 10 in the Swedish capital.
Elan Miller contributed to this report