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6 Master Storytellers – On the Power of Books

Celebrating the written world of human experience and imagination.
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Did You Know?

113

88

years was the age of the oldest Literature Laureate ever, Doris Lessing.

41

years was the age of the youngest Literature Laureate ever, Rudyard Kipling, awarded the Nobel Prize in 1907 and best known for 'The Jungle Book'.

14

women have been awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature so far.

2

persons declined the Nobel Prize in Literature - Boris Pasternak and Jean Paul Sartre.



More facts and figures on the Nobel Prize in Literature


Enjoy Some Readings

"Once upon our time, there was an earthquake ..."

1991 Nobel Laureate in Literature Nadine Gordimer reads her short story Loot from "Loot and Other Stories".


"I first became acquainted with the Amazon jungle halfway through 1958 ..."

Mario Vargas Llosa, 2010 Literature Laureate, reads an excerpt from "The Storyteller" ("El Hablador").

Mario Vargas Llosa reads the excerpt in Spanish
Read the excerpt

"Here we come to the heart of the matter: I've never left Istanbul - never left the houses, streets and neighbourhoods of my childhood ..."

2006 Nobel Laureate in Literature Orhan Pamuk reads from his novel "Istanbul: Memories of a City".

Read the excerpt from "Istanbul"

Featured Literature Laureates

Svetlana Alexievich

Svetlana Alexievich - Composes Collages of Human Voices

Svetlana Alexievich depicts life during and after the Soviet Union through the experience of individuals.

Read an excerpt from her book Voices from Chernobyl
Naguib Mahfouz

Naguib Mahfouz - His Works Speaks to Us All

Naguib Mahfouz' rich and complex work invites us to reconsider the fundamental things in life: the nature of time and love, society and norms, knowledge and faith.

Read the beginning of his novel Midaq Alley
Herta Müller

Herta Müller - Writing Against Terror

Almost everything Herta Müller writes is about life under Ceauşescu's Romanian dictatorship, its fear and betrayal and constant surveillance.

Read Herta Müller's Nobel Lecture Every word knows something of a vicious circle
Wole Soyinka

Wole Soyinka - Inspired by His Country's History

Wole Soyinka's background and upbringing in the small Nigerian town of Aké, with a mixture of traditional and western traditions, gave him unusual conditions for a literary career.

Read an excerpt from his book Aké. The Years of Childhood

Popular Videos

Toni Morrison

"But we do language. That may be the measure of our lives"

In her Nobel Lecture, Toni Morrison talks about the power of language, and that it's important that we all take responsibility for it.


Bob Dylan. Photo: William Claxton Photo: William Claxton

"I am in very rare company"

Bob Dylan did not attend the Nobel Prize Award Ceremony in Stockholm in December 2016, but he wrote a speech for the Nobel Banquet, here read by Azita Raji, then the United States' Ambassador to Sweden.


Harold Pinter

"Truth in drama is forever elusive"

Due to health reasons, Harold Pinter gave his Nobel Lecture Art, Truth & Politics as a video lecture.


William Faulkner

"It is his privilege to help man endure by lifting his heart"

In his speech at the Nobel Banquet, William Faulkner talks about the role of the writer, and his responsibility.


Island

Lord of the Flies

Have you read the well-known book by William Golding? How much do you remember?

Play the Lord of the Flies Game

Thumb up

"Still relevant and powerful today - simply genius"


Discover our visitors' thoughts about Lord of the Flies and many other books


Books

Book Tips

Tell us about your favorite book by an author awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature.

Recommend a book
Word game

Find the Authors!

Can you find the hidden names of Literature Laureates in the ocean of letters.

Try the game

Nobel Laureates Facts

William E. Moerner receiving his Nobel Prize from His Majesty King Carl XVI Gustaf of Sweden. Copyright © Nobel Media AB 2014. Photo: Niklas Elmehed

All Nobel Prizes and Laureates

Between 1901 and 2015, the Nobel Prizes and the Prize in Economic Sciences were awarded 573 times to 900 people and organizations.

All Nobel Prizes


Malala Yousafzai

The Youngest Laureate

The youngest Nobel Laureate ever is 17-year old Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Malala Yousafzai.

List of all Nobel Laureates by age
Pierre and Marie Curie

Nobel Prize Awarded Couples

Five married couples have been awarded Nobel Prizes.

Read more

Most Popular Literature Laureates


Awarded women

Women Who Changed the World

Literary mastery, pioneering science, life-saving discoveries and actions for peace and human rights - achievements of women around the world awarded the Nobel Prize. See them all in this video.


All Laureates on stage. Photo: A. Mahmoud. Copyright © Nobel Media AB 2015.

Awarded for "the Greatest Benefit to Mankind"

Eleven persons were awarded Nobel Prizes in 2016. See a short presentation of them here.

2016 Nobel Laureates
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Information for the Press

Ulrika Bergman appointed new Chief Investment Officer at the Nobel Foundation
2017-03-08

Press images

More news and press releases
Bust of Alfred Nobel. © Nobel Media AB. Photo: Pi Frisk

© Nobel Media AB. Photo: Pi Frisk

Alfred Nobel Established the Nobel Prizes

On 27 November 1895, Alfred Nobel signed his third and last will at the Swedish-Norwegian Club in Paris. When it was opened and read after his death, the will caused a lot of controversy both in Sweden and internationally, as Alfred Nobel had left much of his wealth for the establishment of a prize.

Learn more about Alfred Nobel
Nobel Center, night view. © David Chipperfield Architects

© David Chipperfield Architects

A New Home for the Nobel Prize

Nobel Center is to be built on Blasieholmen, on a wonderful site along Stockholm's central waterfront. Through its broad public activities, the Nobel Center will invite people into the Nobel Prize's unique world of natural sciences, humanities and peace efforts and become a meeting place that inspires curiosity and creativity.

Read more about the Nobel Center


In Memoriam

Alexei Abrikosov

Alexei Abrikosov Passes Away

Alexei Abrikosov, who was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics 2003 for pioneering contributions to the theory of superconductors and superfluids, passed away on 29 March, age 88.

Biography of Alexei Abrikosov
More about the 2003 Physics Prize
Derek Walcott

Caribbean Poet Derek Walcott Passes Away at 87

Derek Walcott was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature 1992 "for a poetic oeuvre of great luminosity, sustained by a historical vision, the outcome of a multicultural commitment".

1992 Nobel Prize in Literature
Video interview with Derek Walcott
Hans G. Dehmelt

Hans G. Dehmelt Passes Away

Hans G. Dehmelt, awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics 1989 for the development of the ion trap technique, passed away on 7 March, age 94.

Hans Dehmelt's autobiography
1989 Nobel Prize in Physics

George A. Olah

George A. Olah 1927-2017

George A. Olah, George A. Olah "for his contribution to carbocation chemistry", passed away on 8 March, age 89.

Autobiography
Video interview
1994 Chemistry Prize