Born in Nitzkydorf/Romania.
Studied German and Romanian languages and literature in Temeswar.
1977-80 translator in a machine factory and teacher.
Her first book “Niederungen” was published after significant censoring in 1982; the original version was published in 1984 in Germany. In 1985 publication of her work was banned in Romania.
1987 departure to Germany for political reasons and has since been living in Berlin.
Since 1985 member of the German Academy for Languages and Poetry. Since 2001 poetry lecturer at the University of Tübingen.
Her books were translated into 20 languages. Most recent novels include: “Herztier” (1994), “Heute wär ich mir lieber nicht begegnet” (1997) and the volume with text collages “Im Haarknoten wohnt eine Dame” (2000).
She has received numerous literature prizes – among others: Aspekte Literature Prize (1984), Kleist Prize (1994), “Aristeion” Literature Prize of the European Union (1995), Franz-Kafka-Literature Prize (1999).