The Nobel Prize in Literature 1909
Selma Ottilia Lovisa Lagerlöf
Born: 20 November 1858, Mårbacka, Sweden
Died: 16 March 1940, Mårbacka, Sweden
Residence at the time of the award: Sweden
Prize motivation: "in appreciation of the lofty idealism, vivid imagination and spiritual perception that characterize her writings"
Prize share: 1/1
Selma Lagerlöf was a real storyteller. She grew up in the province of Värmland in Sweden, was tutored at home and surrounded by her grandmother's fairy tales and legends. She wrote poetry early, studied to become a teacher, received financial support for her writing and published her first novel 'Gösta Berlings saga' ('The Story of Gösta Berling') in 1891 as a reaction to the contemporary Swedish realism. Selma Lagerlöf often describes the peasant life and the Nordic nature, inspired by the myths, history and folklore, always accompanied by ethical strength and a deep religious feeling. Her most known book is 'Nils Holgerssons underbara resa genom Sverige' ('The Wonderful Adventures of Nils'), a geography book for school children.