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Lists of Nobel Prizes and Laureates

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Lists of Nobel Prizes and Laureates

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Collage: Kenzaburo Oe, Eyvind Johnson, Selma Lagerlöf, Elfriede Jelinek and Winston Churchill

All Nobel Prizes in Literature

The Nobel Prize in Literature has been awarded 107 times to 111 Nobel Laureates between 1901 and 2014. Click on the links to get more information.

The Nobel Prize in Literature 2014

Patrick Modiano

"for the art of memory with which he has evoked the most ungraspable human destinies and uncovered the life-world of the occupation"

The Nobel Prize in Literature 2013

Alice Munro

"master of the contemporary short story"

The Nobel Prize in Literature 2012

Mo Yan

"who with hallucinatory realism merges folk tales, history and the contemporary"

The Nobel Prize in Literature 2011

Tomas Tranströmer

"because, through his condensed, translucent images, he gives us fresh access to reality"

The Nobel Prize in Literature 2010

Mario Vargas Llosa

"for his cartography of structures of power and his trenchant images of the individual's resistance, revolt, and defeat"

The Nobel Prize in Literature 2009

Herta Müller

"who, with the concentration of poetry and the frankness of prose, depicts the landscape of the dispossessed"

The Nobel Prize in Literature 2008

Jean-Marie Gustave Le Clézio

"author of new departures, poetic adventure and sensual ecstasy, explorer of a humanity beyond and below the reigning civilization"

The Nobel Prize in Literature 2007

Doris Lessing

"that epicist of the female experience, who with scepticism, fire and visionary power has subjected a divided civilisation to scrutiny"

The Nobel Prize in Literature 2006

Orhan Pamuk

"who in the quest for the melancholic soul of his native city has discovered new symbols for the clash and interlacing of cultures"

The Nobel Prize in Literature 2005

Harold Pinter

"who in his plays uncovers the precipice under everyday prattle and forces entry into oppression's closed rooms"

The Nobel Prize in Literature 2004

Elfriede Jelinek

"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"

The Nobel Prize in Literature 2003

John M. Coetzee

"who in innumerable guises portrays the surprising involvement of the outsider"

The Nobel Prize in Literature 2002

Imre Kertész

"for writing that upholds the fragile experience of the individual against the barbaric arbitrariness of history"

The Nobel Prize in Literature 2001

Sir Vidiadhar Surajprasad Naipaul

"for having united perceptive narrative and incorruptible scrutiny in works that compel us to see the presence of suppressed histories"

The Nobel Prize in Literature 2000

Gao Xingjian

"for an æuvre of universal validity, bitter insights and linguistic ingenuity, which has opened new paths for the Chinese novel and drama"

The Nobel Prize in Literature 1999

Günter Grass

"whose frolicsome black fables portray the forgotten face of history"

The Nobel Prize in Literature 1998

José Saramago

"who with parables sustained by imagination, compassion and irony continually enables us once again to apprehend an elusory reality"

The Nobel Prize in Literature 1997

Dario Fo

"who emulates the jesters of the Middle Ages in scourging authority and upholding the dignity of the downtrodden"

The Nobel Prize in Literature 1996

Wislawa Szymborska

"for poetry that with ironic precision allows the historical and biological context to come to light in fragments of human reality"

The Nobel Prize in Literature 1995

Seamus Heaney

"for works of lyrical beauty and ethical depth, which exalt everyday miracles and the living past"

The Nobel Prize in Literature 1994

Kenzaburo Oe

"who with poetic force creates an imagined world, where life and myth condense to form a disconcerting picture of the human predicament today"

The Nobel Prize in Literature 1993

Toni Morrison

"who in novels characterized by visionary force and poetic import, gives life to an essential aspect of American reality"

The Nobel Prize in Literature 1992

Derek Walcott

"for a poetic oeuvre of great luminosity, sustained by a historical vision, the outcome of a multicultural commitment"

The Nobel Prize in Literature 1991

Nadine Gordimer

"who through her magnificent epic writing has - in the words of Alfred Nobel - been of very great benefit to humanity"

The Nobel Prize in Literature 1990

Octavio Paz

"for impassioned writing with wide horizons, characterized by sensuous intelligence and humanistic integrity"

The Nobel Prize in Literature 1989

Camilo José Cela

"for a rich and intensive prose, which with restrained compassion forms a challenging vision of man's vulnerability"

The Nobel Prize in Literature 1988

Naguib Mahfouz

"who, through works rich in nuance - now clear-sightedly realistic, now evocatively ambiguous - has formed an Arabian narrative art that applies to all mankind"

The Nobel Prize in Literature 1987

Joseph Brodsky

"for an all-embracing authorship, imbued with clarity of thought and poetic intensity"

The Nobel Prize in Literature 1986

Wole Soyinka

"who in a wide cultural perspective and with poetic overtones fashions the drama of existence"

The Nobel Prize in Literature 1985

Claude Simon

"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"

The Nobel Prize in Literature 1984

Jaroslav Seifert

"for his poetry which endowed with freshness, sensuality and rich inventiveness provides a liberating image of the indomitable spirit and versatility of man"

The Nobel Prize in Literature 1983

William Golding

"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"

The Nobel Prize in Literature 1982

Gabriel García Márquez

"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"

The Nobel Prize in Literature 1981

Elias Canetti

"for writings marked by a broad outlook, a wealth of ideas and artistic power"

The Nobel Prize in Literature 1980

Czeslaw Milosz

"who with uncompromising clear-sightedness voices man's exposed condition in a world of severe conflicts"

The Nobel Prize in Literature 1979

Odysseus Elytis

"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"

The Nobel Prize in Literature 1978

Isaac Bashevis Singer

"for his impassioned narrative art which, with roots in a Polish-Jewish cultural tradition, brings universal human conditions to life"

The Nobel Prize in Literature 1977

Vicente Aleixandre

"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"

The Nobel Prize in Literature 1976

Saul Bellow

"for the human understanding and subtle analysis of contemporary culture that are combined in his work"

The Nobel Prize in Literature 1975

Eugenio Montale

"for his distinctive poetry which, with great artistic sensitivity, has interpreted human values under the sign of an outlook on life with no illusions"

The Nobel Prize in Literature 1974

Eyvind Johnson

"for a narrative art, far-seeing in lands and ages, in the service of freedom"

Harry Martinson

"for writings that catch the dewdrop and reflect the cosmos"

The Nobel Prize in Literature 1973

Patrick White

"for an epic and psychological narrative art which has introduced a new continent into literature"

The Nobel Prize in Literature 1972

Heinrich Böll

"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"

The Nobel Prize in Literature 1971

Pablo Neruda

"for a poetry that with the action of an elemental force brings alive a continent's destiny and dreams"

The Nobel Prize in Literature 1970

Aleksandr Isayevich Solzhenitsyn

"for the ethical force with which he has pursued the indispensable traditions of Russian literature"

The Nobel Prize in Literature 1969

Samuel Beckett

"for his writing, which - in new forms for the novel and drama - in the destitution of modern man acquires its elevation"

The Nobel Prize in Literature 1968

Yasunari Kawabata

"for his narrative mastery, which with great sensibility expresses the essence of the Japanese mind"

The Nobel Prize in Literature 1967

Miguel Angel Asturias

"for his vivid literary achievement, deep-rooted in the national traits and traditions of Indian peoples of Latin America"

The Nobel Prize in Literature 1966

Shmuel Yosef Agnon

"for his profoundly characteristic narrative art with motifs from the life of the Jewish people"

Nelly Sachs

"for her outstanding lyrical and dramatic writing, which interprets Israel's destiny with touching strength"

The Nobel Prize in Literature 1965

Mikhail Aleksandrovich Sholokhov

"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"

The Nobel Prize in Literature 1964

Jean-Paul Sartre

"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"

The Nobel Prize in Literature 1963

Giorgos Seferis

"for his eminent lyrical writing, inspired by a deep feeling for the Hellenic world of culture"

The Nobel Prize in Literature 1962

John Steinbeck

"for his realistic and imaginative writings, combining as they do sympathetic humour and keen social perception"

The Nobel Prize in Literature 1961

Ivo Andric

"for the epic force with which he has traced themes and depicted human destinies drawn from the history of his country"

The Nobel Prize in Literature 1960

Saint-John Perse

"for the soaring flight and the evocative imagery of his poetry which in a visionary fashion reflects the conditions of our time"

The Nobel Prize in Literature 1959

Salvatore Quasimodo

"for his lyrical poetry, which with classical fire expresses the tragic experience of life in our own times"

The Nobel Prize in Literature 1958

Boris Leonidovich Pasternak

"for his important achievement both in contemporary lyrical poetry and in the field of the great Russian epic tradition"

The Nobel Prize in Literature 1957

Albert Camus

"for his important literary production, which with clear-sighted earnestness illuminates the problems of the human conscience in our times"

The Nobel Prize in Literature 1956

Juan Ramón Jiménez

"for his lyrical poetry, which in Spanish language constitutes an example of high spirit and artistical purity"

The Nobel Prize in Literature 1955

Halldór Kiljan Laxness

"for his vivid epic power which has renewed the great narrative art of Iceland"

The Nobel Prize in Literature 1954

Ernest Miller Hemingway

"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"

The Nobel Prize in Literature 1953

Sir Winston Leonard Spencer Churchill

"for his mastery of historical and biographical description as well as for brilliant oratory in defending exalted human values"

The Nobel Prize in Literature 1952

François Mauriac

"for the deep spiritual insight and the artistic intensity with which he has in his novels penetrated the drama of human life"

The Nobel Prize in Literature 1951

Pär Fabian Lagerkvist

"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"

The Nobel Prize in Literature 1950

Earl (Bertrand Arthur William) Russell

"in recognition of his varied and significant writings in which he champions humanitarian ideals and freedom of thought"

The Nobel Prize in Literature 1949

William Faulkner

"for his powerful and artistically unique contribution to the modern American novel"

The Nobel Prize in Literature 1948

Thomas Stearns Eliot

"for his outstanding, pioneer contribution to present-day poetry"

The Nobel Prize in Literature 1947

André Paul Guillaume Gide

"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"

The Nobel Prize in Literature 1946

Hermann Hesse

"for his inspired writings which, while growing in boldness and penetration, exemplify the classical humanitarian ideals and high qualities of style"

The Nobel Prize in Literature 1945

Gabriela Mistral

"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"

The Nobel Prize in Literature 1944

Johannes Vilhelm Jensen

"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"

The Nobel Prize in Literature 1943

No Nobel Prize was awarded this year. The prize money was with 1/3 allocated to the Main Fund and with 2/3 to the Special Fund of this prize section.

The Nobel Prize in Literature 1942

No Nobel Prize was awarded this year. The prize money was with 1/3 allocated to the Main Fund and with 2/3 to the Special Fund of this prize section.

The Nobel Prize in Literature 1941

No Nobel Prize was awarded this year. The prize money was with 1/3 allocated to the Main Fund and with 2/3 to the Special Fund of this prize section.

The Nobel Prize in Literature 1940

No Nobel Prize was awarded this year. The prize money was with 1/3 allocated to the Main Fund and with 2/3 to the Special Fund of this prize section.

The Nobel Prize in Literature 1939

Frans Eemil Sillanpää

"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"

The Nobel Prize in Literature 1938

Pearl Buck

"for her rich and truly epic descriptions of peasant life in China and for her biographical masterpieces"

The Nobel Prize in Literature 1937

Roger Martin du Gard

"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"

The Nobel Prize in Literature 1936

Eugene Gladstone O'Neill

"for the power, honesty and deep-felt emotions of his dramatic works, which embody an original concept of tragedy"

The Nobel Prize in Literature 1935

No Nobel Prize was awarded this year. The prize money was with 1/3 allocated to the Main Fund and with 2/3 to the Special Fund of this prize section.

The Nobel Prize in Literature 1934

Luigi Pirandello

"for his bold and ingenious revival of dramatic and scenic art"

The Nobel Prize in Literature 1933

Ivan Alekseyevich Bunin

"for the strict artistry with which he has carried on the classical Russian traditions in prose writing"

The Nobel Prize in Literature 1932

John Galsworthy

"for his distinguished art of narration which takes its highest form in The Forsyte Saga"

The Nobel Prize in Literature 1931

Erik Axel Karlfeldt

"The poetry of Erik Axel Karlfeldt"

The Nobel Prize in Literature 1930

Sinclair Lewis

"for his vigorous and graphic art of description and his ability to create, with wit and humour, new types of characters"

The Nobel Prize in Literature 1929

Thomas Mann

"principally for his great novel, Buddenbrooks, which has won steadily increased recognition as one of the classic works of contemporary literature"

The Nobel Prize in Literature 1928

Sigrid Undset

"principally for her powerful descriptions of Northern life during the Middle Ages"

The Nobel Prize in Literature 1927

Henri Bergson

"in recognition of his rich and vitalizing ideas and the brilliant skill with which they have been presented"

The Nobel Prize in Literature 1926

Grazia Deledda

"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"

The Nobel Prize in Literature 1925

George Bernard Shaw

"for his work which is marked by both idealism and humanity, its stimulating satire often being infused with a singular poetic beauty"

The Nobel Prize in Literature 1924

Wladyslaw Stanislaw Reymont

"for his great national epic, The Peasants"

The Nobel Prize in Literature 1923

William Butler Yeats

"for his always inspired poetry, which in a highly artistic form gives expression to the spirit of a whole nation"

The Nobel Prize in Literature 1922

Jacinto Benavente

"for the happy manner in which he has continued the illustrious traditions of the Spanish drama"

The Nobel Prize in Literature 1921

Anatole France

"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"

The Nobel Prize in Literature 1920

Knut Pedersen Hamsun

"for his monumental work, Growth of the Soil"

The Nobel Prize in Literature 1919

Carl Friedrich Georg Spitteler

"in special appreciation of his epic, Olympian Spring"

The Nobel Prize in Literature 1918

No Nobel Prize was awarded this year. The prize money was allocated to the Special Fund of this prize section.

The Nobel Prize in Literature 1917

Karl Adolph Gjellerup

"for his varied and rich poetry, which is inspired by lofty ideals"

Henrik Pontoppidan

"for his authentic descriptions of present-day life in Denmark"

The Nobel Prize in Literature 1916

Carl Gustaf Verner von Heidenstam

"in recognition of his significance as the leading representative of a new era in our literature"

The Nobel Prize in Literature 1915

Romain Rolland

"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"

The Nobel Prize in Literature 1914

No Nobel Prize was awarded this year. The prize money was allocated to the Special Fund of this prize section.

The Nobel Prize in Literature 1913

Rabindranath Tagore

"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"

The Nobel Prize in Literature 1912

Gerhart Johann Robert Hauptmann

"primarily in recognition of his fruitful, varied and outstanding production in the realm of dramatic art"

The Nobel Prize in Literature 1911

Count Maurice (Mooris) Polidore Marie Bernhard Maeterlinck

"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"

The Nobel Prize in Literature 1910

Paul Johann Ludwig Heyse

"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"

The Nobel Prize in Literature 1909

Selma Ottilia Lovisa Lagerlöf

"in appreciation of the lofty idealism, vivid imagination and spiritual perception that characterize her writings"

The Nobel Prize in Literature 1908

Rudolf Christoph Eucken

"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"

The Nobel Prize in Literature 1907

Rudyard Kipling

"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"

The Nobel Prize in Literature 1906

Giosuè Carducci

"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"

The Nobel Prize in Literature 1905

Henryk Sienkiewicz

"because of his outstanding merits as an epic writer"

The Nobel Prize in Literature 1904

Frédéric Mistral

"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"

José Echegaray y Eizaguirre

"in recognition of the numerous and brilliant compositions which, in an individual and original manner, have revived the great traditions of the Spanish drama"

The Nobel Prize in Literature 1903

Bjørnstjerne Martinus Bjørnson

"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"

The Nobel Prize in Literature 1902

Christian Matthias Theodor Mommsen

"the greatest living master of the art of historical writing, with special reference to his monumental work, A history of Rome"

The Nobel Prize in Literature 1901

Sully Prudhomme

"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"

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