A scientist who escaped suicide bombers, a writer who endured years of persecution in communist Romania and an American president who has yet to serve his first full year in office are among those to be honoured today with this year's Nobel Prizes.
Romanian-born author Herta Mueller will receive the Nobel literature award for her critical depiction of life behind the Iron Curtain, work drawn largely from her personal experiences. Mueller's mother spent five years in a communist gulag, and the writer herself was tormented by the Securitate secret police because she refused to become their informant.
"I've had the experience of fear of persecution. It's emotional, it bothers me, it makes me angry," the 56-year-old said at the traditional laureates' news conference before the ceremony.
Mueller said she was very happy to receive the award but wouldn't reveal what she would do with the 10 million kronor ($ 1.4 million) prize money. "But I'm not buying a yacht so don't worry," she joked.
The Nobel awards in medicine, physics, chemistry, literature and economics are presented in the Swedish capital, Stockholm. President Barack Obama will receive the peace prize in Oslo, Norway, in line with the 1895 will of prize founder Alfred Nobel.