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Encyclopedia > Nobel Prize for Literature

The Nobel Prize in literature is awarded annually to an author from any country who has produced "the most outstanding work of an idealistic tendency". The "work" in this case generally refers to an author's work as a whole, not to any individual work, though individual works are sometimes cited in the awards. The Swedish Academy decides who, if anyone, will receive the prize in any given year.

List of Nobel Prize laureates in Literature from 1901 to the present day.

1900s - 1910s - 1920s - 1930s - 1940s - 1950s - 1960s - 1970s - 1980s - 1990s - 2000s


Nobel Prize in Literature, 1900s
Year Name Country
1901 Sully Prudhomme France
1902 Theodor Mommsen Germany
1903 Bjørnstjerne Bjørnson Norway
1904 Frédéric Mistral France
José Echegaray y Eizaguirre Spain
1905 Henryk Sienkiewicz Poland
1906 Giosuè Carducci Italy
1907 Rudyard Kipling United Kingdom
1908 Rudolf Christoph Eucken Germany
1909 Selma Lagerlöf Sweden


Nobel Prize in Literature, 1910s
Year Name Country
1910 Paul Johann Ludwig Heyse Germany
1911 Count Maurice Maeterlinck Belgium
1912 Gerhart Hauptmann Germany
1913 Sir Rabindranath Tagore India
1915 Romain Rolland France
1916 Carl Gustaf Verner von Heidenstam Sweden
1917 Karl Adolph Gjellerup Denmark
Henrik Pontoppidan Denmark
1919 Carl Spitteler Switzerland


Nobel Prize in Literature, 1920s
Year Name Country
1920 Knut Hamsun Norway
1921 Anatole France France
1922 Jacinto Benavente Spain
1923 William Butler Yeats Ireland
1924 Władysław Reymont Poland
1925 George Bernard Shaw Ireland
1926 Grazia Deledda Italy
1927 Henri Bergson France
1928 Sigrid Undset Norway
1929 Thomas Mann Germany


Nobel Prize in Literature, 1930s
Year Name Country
1930 Sinclair Lewis United States
1931 Erik Axel Karlfeldt Sweden
1932 John Galsworthy United Kingdom
1933 Ivan Alekseyevich Bunin Russia
1934 Luigi Pirandello Italy
1936 Eugene O'Neill United States
1937 Roger Martin du Gard France
1938 Pearl S. Buck United States
1939 Frans Eemil Sillanpää Finland


Nobel Prize in Literature, 1940s
Year Name Country
1944 Johannes Vilhelm Jensen Denmark
1945 Gabriela Mistral Chile
1946 Hermann Hesse Switzerland
1947 André Gide France
1948 T. S. Eliot United States
1949 William Faulkner United States


Nobel Prize in Literature, 1950s
Year Name Country
1950 Bertrand Russell United Kingdom
1951 Pär Lagerkvist Sweden
1952 François Mauriac France
1953 Sir Winston Churchill United Kingdom
1954 Ernest Hemingway United States
1955 Halldór Laxness Iceland
1956 Juan Ramón Jiménez Spain
1957 Albert Camus France
1958 Boris Pasternak (Борис Леонидович Пастернак; declined the prize) Russia
1959 Salvatore Quasimodo Italy


Nobel Prize in Literature, 1960s
Year Name Country
1960 Perse Saint-John France
1961 Ivo Andric Yugoslavia
1962 John Steinbeck United States
1963 Giorgos Seferis Greece
1964 Jean-Paul Sartre (declined the prize) France
1965 Michail Aleksandrovich Sholokhov (Михаил Александрович Шолохов) Russia
1966 Shmuel Yosef Agnon Israel
Nelly Sachs Germany
1967 Miguel Ángel Asturias Guatemala
1968 Yasunari Kawabata Japan
1969 Samuel Beckett Ireland


Nobel Prize in Literature, 1970s
Year Name Country
1970 Aleksandr Isaevich Solzhenitsyn (Алекса́ндр Иса́евич Солжени́цын) Russia
1971 Pablo Neruda Chile
1972 Heinrich Böll Germany
1973 Patrick White Australia
1974 Eyvind Johnson Sweden
Harry Martinson Sweden
1975 Eugenio Montale Italy
1976 Saul Bellow Canada/United States
1977 Vicente Aleixandre Spain
1978 Isaac Bashevis Singer United States
1979 Odysseas Elytis Greece


Nobel Prize in Literature, 1980s
Year Name Country
1980 Czesław Miłosz Poland/United States
1981 Elias Canetti United Kingdom
1982 Gabriel García Márquez Colombia
1983 William Golding United Kingdom
1984 Jaroslav Seifert Czechoslovakia
1985 Claude Simon France
1986 Wole Soyinka Nigeria
1987 Joseph Brodsky Russia-United States
1988 Naguib Mahfouz Egypt
1989 Camilo José Cela Spain


Nobel Prize in Literature, 1990s
Year Name Country
1990 Octavio Paz Mexico
1991 Nadine Gordimer South Africa
1992 Derek Walcott St. Lucia
1993 Toni Morrison United States
1994 Kenzaburo Oe (大江 健三郎) Japan
1995 Seamus Heaney Ireland
1996 Wisława Szymborska Poland
1997 Dario Fo Italy
1998 José Saramago Portugal
1999 Günter Grass Germany


Nobel Prize in Literature, 2000s
Year Name Country
2000 Gao Xingjian (高行健) France
2001 Vidiadhar Surajprasad Naipaul United Kingdom
2002 Imre Kertész Hungary
2003 John Maxwell Coetzee South Africa
2004 Elfriede Jelinek Austria


External links

  • http://www.nobel.se/literature/laureates/index.html
  • Nobel Prize Winners in Literature (http://www.nobelprizes.com/nobel/literature)
Nobel Prizes
Chemistry | Literature | Physiology or Medicine | Peace | Physics
Prize in Economic Sciences in Memory of Alfred Nobel

  Results from FactBites:
Nobel Prize in Literature - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (677 words)
In earlier years the Nobel Committee stuck closely to the intent of the will, and left out certain world-renowned writers such as Leo Tolstoy and Henrik Ibsen for the Prize probably because their works were not "idealistic" enough.
Members of the Academy, members of literature academies and societies, professors of literature and language, former Nobel literature laureates, and the presidents of writers' organizations are all allowed to nominate a candidate.
Mommsen was also the first Nobel laureate born (November 30, 1817), a combination of his advanced age and the early year in which he received the Prize.
Nobel Prizes, Past and Present (1650 words)
The Nobel Prizes were established from a fund bequeathed for that purpose by the Swedish inventor and industrialist Alfred Nobel.
The Nobel Foundation is the legal owner and functional administrator of the funds and serves as the joint administrative body of the prize-awarding institutions, but it is not concerned with the prize deliberations or decisions, which rest exclusively with the four institutions.
Nobel's ambiguous stipulation that the literature prize be awarded to the authors of works of an "idealistic tendency" was interpreted strictly in the beginning but has gradually been interpreted more flexibly.
  More results at FactBites »



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