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Portal:Nobel Prize in Literature

Nobel Prize in Literature
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"The Nobel Prize in Literature is awarded annually by the Swedish Academy to authors for outstanding contributions in the field of literature. It is one of the five Nobel Prizes established by the 1895 will of Alfred Nobel, which are awarded for outstanding contributions in chemistry, physics, literature, peace, and physiology or medicine. As dictated by Nobel's will, the award is administered by the Nobel Foundation and awarded by a committee that consists of five members elected by the Swedish Academy."— Excerpted from Nobel Prize in Literature on Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.


About the prizeEdit

List of laureatesEdit

Year Laureate Country Language Citation Genre(s)
1901   Sully Prudhomme France French "in special recognition of his poetic composition, which gives evidence of lofty idealism, artistic perfection and a rare combination of the qualities of both heart and intellect" poetry, essay
1902   Theodor Mommsen Germany German "the greatest living master of the art of historical writing, with special reference to his monumental work, A History of Rome" history, law
1903   Bjørnstjerne Bjørnson Norway Norwegian "as a tribute to his noble, magnificent and versatile poetry, which has always been distinguished by both the freshness of its inspiration and the rare purity of its spirit" poetry, novel, drama
1904   Frédéric Mistral France Occitan "in recognition of the fresh originality and true inspiration of his poetic production, which faithfully reflects the natural scenery and native spirit of his people, and, in addition, his significant work as a Provençal philologist" poetry, philology
  José Echegaray Spain Spanish "in recognition of the numerous and brilliant compositions which, in an individual and original manner, have revived the great traditions of the Spanish drama" drama
1905   Henryk Sienkiewicz Poland Polish "because of his outstanding merits as an epic writer" novel
1906   Giosuè Carducci Italy Italian "not only in consideration of his deep learning and critical research, but above all as a tribute to the creative energy, freshness of style, and lyrical force which characterize his poetic masterpieces" poetry
1907   Rudyard Kipling United Kingdom English "in consideration of the power of observation, originality of imagination, virility of ideas and remarkable talent for narration which characterize the creations of this world-famous author" novel, short story, poetry
1908   Rudolf Christoph Eucken Germany German "in recognition of his earnest search for truth, his penetrating power of thought, his wide range of vision, and the warmth and strength in presentation with which in his numerous works he has vindicated and developed an idealistic philosophy of life" philosophy
1909   Selma Lagerlöf Sweden Swedish "in appreciation of the lofty idealism, vivid imagination and spiritual perception that characterize her writings" novel, short story
1910   Paul von Heyse Germany German "as a tribute to the consummate artistry, permeated with idealism, which he has demonstrated during his long productive career as a lyric poet, dramatist, novelist and writer of world-renowned short stories" poetry, drama, novel, short story
1911   Maurice Maeterlinck Belgium French "in appreciation of his many-sided literary activities, and especially of his dramatic works, which are distinguished by a wealth of imagination and by a poetic fancy, which reveals, sometimes in the guise of a fairy tale, a deep inspiration, while in a mysterious way they appeal to the readers' own feelings and stimulate their imaginations" drama, poetry, essay
1912   Gerhart Hauptmann Germany German "primarily in recognition of his fruitful, varied and outstanding production in the realm of dramatic art" drama, novel
1913   Rabindranath Tagore India Bengali "because of his profoundly sensitive, fresh and beautiful verse, by which, with consummate skill, he has made his poetic thought, expressed in his own English words, a part of the literature of the West" poetry, novel, drama, short story, music
1914 Not awarded
1915   Romain Rolland France French "as a tribute to the lofty idealism of his literary production and to the sympathy and love of truth with which he has described different types of human beings" novel
1916   Verner von Heidenstam Sweden Swedish "in recognition of his significance as the leading representative of a new era in our literature" poetry, novel
1917   Karl Adolph Gjellerup Denmark Danish "for his varied and rich poetry, which is inspired by lofty ideals" poetry
  Henrik Pontoppidan Denmark Danish "for his authentic descriptions of present-day life in Denmark" novel
1918 Not awarded
1919   Carl Spitteler Switzerland German "in special appreciation of his epic, Olympian Spring" poetry
1920   Knut Hamsun Norway Norwegian "for his monumental work, Growth of the Soil" novel
1921   Anatole France France French "in recognition of his brilliant literary achievements, characterized as they are by a nobility of style, a profound human sympathy, grace, and a true Gallic temperament" novel, poetry
1922   Jacinto Benavente Spain Spanish "for the happy manner in which he has continued the illustrious traditions of the Spanish drama" drama
1923   William Butler Yeats Ireland English "for his always inspired poetry, which in a highly artistic form gives expression to the spirit of a whole nation" poetry
1924   Władysław Reymont Poland Polish "for his great national epic, The Peasants" novel
1925   George Bernard Shaw Ireland English "for his work which is marked by both idealism and humanity, its stimulating satire often being infused with a singular poetic beauty" drama, literary criticism
1926   Grazia Deledda Italy Italian "for her idealistically inspired writings which with plastic clarity picture the life on her native island and with depth and sympathy deal with human problems in general" poetry, novel
1927   Henri Bergson France French "in recognition of his rich and vitalizing ideas and the brilliant skill with which they have been presented" philosophy
1928   Sigrid Undset Norway Norwegian "principally for her powerful descriptions of Northern life during the Middle Ages" novel
1929   Thomas Mann Germany German "principally for his great novel, Buddenbrooks, which has won steadily increased recognition as one of the classic works of contemporary literature" novel, short story, essay
1930   Sinclair Lewis United States English "for his vigorous and graphic art of description and his ability to create, with wit and humour, new types of characters" novel, short story, drama
1931   Erik Axel Karlfeldt Sweden Swedish "The poetry of Erik Axel Karlfeldt" poetry
1932   John Galsworthy United Kingdom English "for his distinguished art of narration which takes its highest form in The Forsyte Saga" novel
1933   Ivan Bunin Stateless (born in Russia, living in France) Russian "for the strict artistry with which he has carried on the classical Russian traditions in prose writing" short story, poetry, novel
1934   Luigi Pirandello Italy Italian "for his bold and ingenious revival of dramatic and scenic art" drama, novel, short story
1935 Not awarded
1936   Eugene O'Neill United States English "for the power, honesty and deep-felt emotions of his dramatic works, which embody an original concept of tragedy" drama
1937   Roger Martin du Gard France French "for the artistic power and truth with which he has depicted human conflict as well as some fundamental aspects of contemporary life in his novel cycle Les Thibault" novel
1938   Pearl S. Buck United States English "for her rich and truly epic descriptions of peasant life in China and for her biographical masterpieces" novel
1939   Frans Eemil Sillanpää Finland Finnish "for his deep understanding of his country's peasantry and the exquisite art with which he has portrayed their way of life and their relationship with Nature" novel
1940 Not awarded
1941 Not awarded
1942 Not awarded
1943 Not awarded
1944   Johannes Vilhelm Jensen Denmark Danish "for the rare strength and fertility of his poetic imagination with which is combined an intellectual curiosity of wide scope and a bold, freshly creative style" poetry
1945   Gabriela Mistral Chile Spanish "for her lyric poetry which, inspired by powerful emotions, has made her name a symbol of the idealistic aspirations of the entire Latin American world" poetry
1946   Hermann Hesse Switzerland (born in Germany) German "for his inspired writings which, while growing in boldness and penetration, exemplify the classical humanitarian ideals and high qualities of style" novel, poetry
1947   André Gide France French "for his comprehensive and artistically significant writings, in which human problems and conditions have been presented with a fearless love of truth and keen psychological insight" novel, essay
1948   T. S. Eliot United Kingdom English "for his outstanding, pioneer contribution to present-day poetry" poetry
1949 William Faulkner United States English "for his powerful and artistically unique contribution to the modern American novel" novel, short story
1950   Bertrand Russell United Kingdom English "in recognition of his varied and significant writings in which he champions humanitarian ideals and freedom of thought" philosophy
1951   Pär Lagerkvist Sweden Swedish "for the artistic vigour and true independence of mind with which he endeavours in his poetry to find answers to the eternal questions confronting mankind" poetry, novel, short story, drama
1952   François Mauriac France French "for the deep spiritual insight and the artistic intensity with which he has in his novels penetrated the drama of human life" novel, short story
1953   Winston Churchill United Kingdom English "for his mastery of historical and biographical description as well as for brilliant oratory in defending exalted human values" history, essay, memoirs
1954   Ernest Hemingway United States English "for his mastery of the art of narrative, most recently demonstrated in The Old Man and the Sea, and for the influence that he has exerted on contemporary style" novel, short story, screenplay
1955   Halldór Laxness Iceland Icelandic "for his vivid epic power which has renewed the great narrative art of Iceland" novel, short story, drama, poetry
1956   Juan Ramón Jiménez Spain Spanish "for his lyrical poetry, which in Spanish language constitutes an example of high spirit and artistical purity" poetry
1957   Albert Camus France French "for his important literary production, which with clear-sighted earnestness illuminates the problems of the human conscience in our times" novel, short story, drama, philosophy, essay
1958   Boris Pasternak Soviet Union Russian "for his important achievement both in contemporary lyrical poetry and in the field of the great Russian epic tradition" novel, poetry, translation
1959   Salvatore Quasimodo Italy Italian "for his lyrical poetry, which with classical fire expresses the tragic experience of life in our own times" poetry
1960   Saint-John Perse France French "for the soaring flight and the evocative imagery of his poetry which in a visionary fashion reflects the conditions of our time" poetry
1961 Ivo Andrić Yugoslavia Serbo-Croatian "for the epic force with which he has traced themes and depicted human destinies drawn from the history of his country" novel, short story
1962   John Steinbeck United States English "for his realistic and imaginative writings, combining as they do sympathetic humour and keen social perception" novel, short story, screenplay
1963   Giorgos Seferis Greece Greek "for his eminent lyrical writing, inspired by a deep feeling for the Hellenic world of culture" poetry
1964   Jean-Paul Sartre France French "for his work which, rich in ideas and filled with the spirit of freedom and the quest for truth, has exerted a far-reaching influence on our age" novel, philosophy, drama, literary criticism, screenplay
1965   Mikhail Sholokhov Soviet Union Russian "for the artistic power and integrity with which, in his epic of the Don, he has given expression to a historic phase in the life of the Russian people" novel
1966   Shmuel Yosef Agnon Israel Hebrew "for his profoundly characteristic narrative art with motifs from the life of the Jewish people" novel, short story
  Nelly Sachs Germany (exiled to Sweden) German "for her outstanding lyrical and dramatic writing, which interprets Israel's destiny with touching strength" poetry, drama
1967   Miguel Ángel Asturias Guatemala Spanish "for his vivid literary achievement, deep-rooted in the national traits and traditions of Indian peoples of Latin America" novel, poetry
1968   Yasunari Kawabata Japan Japanese "for his narrative mastery, which with great sensibility expresses the essence of the Japanese mind" novel, short story
1969   Samuel Beckett Ireland English and French "for his writing, which—in new forms for the novel and drama—in the destitution of modern man acquires its elevation" novel, drama, poetry
1970   Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn Russia Russian "for the ethical force with which he has pursued the indispensable traditions of Russian literature" novel
1971   Pablo Neruda Chile Spanish "for a poetry that with the action of an elemental force brings alive a continent's destiny and dreams" poetry
1972   Heinrich Böll Germany German "for his writing which through its combination of a broad perspective on his time and a sensitive skill in characterization has contributed to a renewal of German literature" novel, short story
1973   Patrick White Australia English "for an epic and psychological narrative art which has introduced a new continent into literature" novel, short story, drama
1974   Eyvind Johnson Sweden Swedish "for a narrative art, farseeing in lands and ages, in the service of freedom" novel
  Harry Martinson Sweden Swedish "for writings that catch the dewdrop and reflect the cosmos" poetry, novel, drama
1975   Eugenio Montale Italy Italian "for his distinctive poetry which, with great artistic sensitivity, has interpreted human values under the sign of an outlook on life with no illusions" poetry
1976 Saul Bellow United States English "for the human understanding and subtle analysis of contemporary culture that are combined in his work" novel, short story
1977   Vicente Aleixandre Spain Spanish "for a creative poetic writing which illuminates man's condition in the cosmos and in present-day society, at the same time representing the great renewal of the traditions of Spanish poetry between the wars" poetry
1978 Isaac Bashevis Singer United States Yiddish "for his impassioned narrative art which, with roots in a Polish-Jewish cultural tradition, brings universal human conditions to life" novel, short story, memoirs
1979   Odysseas Elytis Greece Greek "for his poetry, which, against the background of Greek tradition, depicts with sensuous strength and intellectual clear-sightedness modern man's struggle for freedom and creativeness" poetry
1980 Czesław Miłosz Poland, United States Polish "who with uncompromising clear-sightedness voices man's exposed condition in a world of severe conflicts" poetry, essay
1981   Elias Canetti Bulgaria, United Kingdom German "for writings marked by a broad outlook, a wealth of ideas and artistic power" novel, drama, memoirs, essay
1982   Gabriel García Márquez Colombia Spanish "for his novels and short stories, in which the fantastic and the realistic are combined in a richly composed world of imagination, reflecting a continent's life and conflicts" novel, short story, screenplay
1983   William Golding United Kingdom English "for his novels which, with the perspicuity of realistic narrative art and the diversity and universality of myth, illuminate the human condition in the world of today" novel, poetry, drama
1984   Jaroslav Seifert Czechoslovakia Czech "for his poetry which endowed with freshness, and rich inventiveness provides a liberating image of the indomitable spirit and versatility of man" poetry
1985 Claude Simon France French "who in his novel combines the poet's and the painter's creativeness with a deepened awareness of time in the depiction of the human condition" novel
1986   Wole Soyinka Nigeria English "who in a wide cultural perspective and with poetic overtones fashions the drama of existence" drama, novel, poetry
1987   Joseph Brodsky Soviet Union, United States English and Russian "for an all-embracing authorship, imbued with clarity of thought and poetic intensity" poetry
1988   Naguib Mahfouz Egypt Arabic "who, through works rich in nuance—now clear-sightedly realistic, now evocatively ambiguous—has formed an Arabian narrative art that applies to all mankind" novel
1989 Camilo José Cela Spain Spanish "for a rich and intensive prose, which with restrained compassion forms a challenging vision of man's vulnerability" novel, short story
1990   Octavio Paz Mexico Spanish "for impassioned writing with wide horizons, characterized by sensuous intelligence and humanistic integrity" poetry, essay,
1991   Nadine Gordimer South Africa English "who through her magnificent epic writing has—in the words of Alfred Nobel—been of very great benefit to humanity" novel, short story, essay
1992   Derek Walcott Saint Lucia English "for a poetic oeuvre of great luminosity, sustained by a historical vision, the outcome of a multicultural commitment" poetry
1993   Toni Morrison United States English "who in novels characterized by visionary force and poetic import, gives life to an essential aspect of American reality" novel
1994   Kenzaburō Ōe Japan Japanese "who with poetic force creates an imagined world, where life and myth condense to form a disconcerting picture of the human predicament today" novel, short story
1995   Seamus Heaney Ireland English "for works of lyrical beauty and ethical depth, which exalt everyday miracles and the living past" poetry
1996   Wisława Szymborska Poland Polish "for poetry that with ironic precision allows the historical and biological context to come to light in fragments of human reality" poetry
1997   Dario Fo Italy Italian "who emulates the jesters of the Middle Ages in scourging authority and upholding the dignity of the downtrodden" drama
1998   José Saramago Portugal Portuguese "who with parables sustained by imagination, compassion and irony continually enables us once again to apprehend an elusory reality" novel, drama, poetry
1999   Günter Grass Germany German "whose frolicsome black fables portray the forgotten face of history" novel, drama, poetry
2000   Gao Xingjian China, France Chinese "for an oeuvre of universal validity, bitter insights and linguistic ingenuity, which has opened new paths for the Chinese novel and drama" novel, drama, literary criticism
2001 V. S. Naipaul United Kingdom, Trinidad & Tobago English "for having united perceptive narrative and incorruptible scrutiny in works that compel us to see the presence of suppressed histories" novel, essay
2002   Imre Kertész Hungary Hungarian "for writing that upholds the fragile experience of the individual against the barbaric arbitrariness of history" novel
2003   J. M. Coetzee South Africa, Australia English "who in innumerable guises portrays the surprising involvement of the outsider" novel, essay, translation
2004   Elfriede Jelinek Austria German "for her musical flow of voices and counter-voices in novels and plays that with extraordinary linguistic zeal reveal the absurdity of society's clichés and their subjugating power" novel, drama
2005   Harold Pinter United Kingdom English "who in his plays uncovers the precipice under everyday prattle and forces entry into oppression's closed rooms" drama
2006   Orhan Pamuk Turkey Turkish "who in the quest for the melancholic soul of his native city has discovered new symbols for the clash and interlacing of cultures" novel, screenplay, essay
2007   Doris Lessing United Kingdom English "that epicist of the female experience, who with scepticism, fire and visionary power has subjected a divided civilisation to scrutiny" novel, drama, poetry, short story, memoirs
2008   J. M. G. Le Clézio France, Mauritius French "author of new departures, poetic adventure and sensual ecstasy, explorer of a humanity beyond and below the reigning civilization" novel, short story, essay, translation
2009   Herta Müller Germany, Romania German "who, with the concentration of poetry and the frankness of prose, depicts the landscape of the dispossessed" novel, poetry
2010   Mario Vargas Llosa Peru, Spain Spanish "for his cartography of structures of power and his trenchant images of the individual's resistance, revolt, and defeat". novel, short story, essay, drama
2011   Tomas Tranströmer Sweden Swedish "because, through his condensed, translucent images, he gives us fresh access to reality". poetry, translation
2012   Mo Yan China Chinese "who with hallucinatory realism merges folk tales, history and the contemporary". novel, short story
2013   Alice Munro Canada English "master of the contemporary short story". short story
2014   Patrick Modiano France French "for the art of memory with which he has evoked the most ungraspable human destinies and uncovered the life-world of the occupation". novel
2015   Svetlana Alexievich Belarus Russian "for her polyphonic writings, a monument to suffering and courage in our time" History, essay