Rumanian-born Herta Müller was one of the two invited guest speakers at the 1996 Women in German annual conference in St. Augustine, Florida. She has been awarded a number of prestigious prizes for her writing, including the "aspekte" Literaturpreis in 1984, the Förderpreis des Bremer Literaturpreises in 1985, the Marie Luise Fleisser Prize and the Ricarda Huch Prize in 1989, and the Kleist Prize in 1994. At the editors' request, she contributed this previously unpublished autobiographical essay, titled "Die rote Blume und der Stock" in German, to the Yearbook. The translator of this story, Sieglinde Lug, has recently completed the translation of a collection of Müller's stories, Niederungen. The translation is forthcoming with the University of Nebraska Press. A bibliography of the author's book-length works is appended to this essay.