The Nobel Prize in Literature 2004
Born: 20 October 1946, Mürzzuschlag, Austria
Residence at the time of the award: Austria
Prize motivation: "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"
Field: drama, prose
Prize share: 1/1
Elfriede Jelinek is an Austrian playwright and novelist. Her mother wanted her to be a musician, so she started to study music at the conservatory. She began writing poetry while still young, and made her debut with 'Lisas Schatten' ('Lisa's Shadow') in 1967. Through contact with the student movement, she became politically engaged and her writing became feminist and deeply critical of society. Her texts are perceived to be obscene, irritating and full of biting derision and have succeeded in provoking strong reactions. Elfriede Jelinek suffers from socialphobia and did not go to Stockholm to collect her Nobel Prize.