All Nobel Prizes in Literature

The Nobel Prize in Literature has been awarded 116 times to 120 Nobel Prize laureates between 1901 and 2023. Click on the links to get more information.

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The Nobel Prize in Literature 2024

The Nobel Prize in Literature 2024 will be announced on Thursday 10 October, 13:00 CEST at the earliest.

The Nobel Prize in Literature 2023

“for his innovative plays and prose which give voice to the unsayable”

The Nobel Prize in Literature 2022

“for the courage and clinical acuity with which she uncovers the roots, estrangements and collective restraints of personal memory”

The Nobel Prize in Literature 2021

“for his uncompromising and compassionate penetration of the effects of colonialism and the fate of the refugee in the gulf between cultures and continents”

The Nobel Prize in Literature 2020

“for her unmistakable poetic voice that with austere beauty makes individual existence universal”

The Nobel Prize in Literature 2019

“for an influential work that with linguistic ingenuity has explored the periphery and the specificity of human experience”

The Nobel Prize in Literature 2018

“for a narrative imagination that with encyclopedic passion represents the crossing of boundaries as a form of life”

The Nobel Prize in Literature 2017

“who, in novels of great emotional force, has uncovered the abyss beneath our illusory sense of connection with the world”

The Nobel Prize in Literature 2016

“for having created new poetic expressions within the great American song tradition”

The Nobel Prize in Literature 2015

“for her polyphonic writings, a monument to suffering and courage in our time”

The Nobel Prize in Literature 2014

“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

“master of the contemporary short story”

The Nobel Prize in Literature 2012

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

The Nobel Prize in Literature 2011

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

The Nobel Prize in Literature 2010

“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

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

The Nobel Prize in Literature 2008

“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

“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

“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

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

The Nobel Prize in Literature 2004

“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

“who in innumerable guises portrays the surprising involvement of the outsider”

The Nobel Prize in Literature 2002

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

The Nobel Prize in Literature 2001

“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

“for an œuvre 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

“whose frolicsome black fables portray the forgotten face of history”

The Nobel Prize in Literature 1998

“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

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

The Nobel Prize in Literature 1996

“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

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

The Nobel Prize in Literature 1994

“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

“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

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

The Nobel Prize in Literature 1991

“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

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

The Nobel Prize in Literature 1989

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

The Nobel Prize in Literature 1988

“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

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

The Nobel Prize in Literature 1986

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

The Nobel Prize in Literature 1985

“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

“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

“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

“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

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

The Nobel Prize in Literature 1980

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

The Nobel Prize in Literature 1979

“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

“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

“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

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

The Nobel Prize in Literature 1975

“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

“for a narrative art, far-seeing in lands and ages, in the service of freedom”
“for writings that catch the dewdrop and reflect the cosmos”

The Nobel Prize in Literature 1973

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

The Nobel Prize in Literature 1972

“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

“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

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

The Nobel Prize in Literature 1969

“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

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

The Nobel Prize in Literature 1967

“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

“for his profoundly characteristic narrative art with motifs from the life of the Jewish people”
“for her outstanding lyrical and dramatic writing, which interprets Israel's destiny with touching strength”

The Nobel Prize in Literature 1965

“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

“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

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

The Nobel Prize in Literature 1962

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

The Nobel Prize in Literature 1961

“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

“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

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

The Nobel Prize in Literature 1958

“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

“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

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

The Nobel Prize in Literature 1955

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

The Nobel Prize in Literature 1954

“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

“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

“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

“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

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

The Nobel Prize in Literature 1949

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

The Nobel Prize in Literature 1948

“for his outstanding, pioneer contribution to present-day poetry”

The Nobel Prize in Literature 1947

“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

“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

“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

“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. 1/3 of the prize money was allocated to the main fund and 2/3 was allocated to the special fund of this prize section”

The Nobel Prize in Literature 1942

“No Nobel Prize was awarded this year. 1/3 of the prize money was allocated to the main fund and 2/3 was allocated to the special fund of this prize section”

The Nobel Prize in Literature 1941

“No Nobel Prize was awarded this year. 1/3 of the prize money was allocated to the main fund and 2/3 was allocated to the special fund of this prize section”

The Nobel Prize in Literature 1940

“No Nobel Prize was awarded this year. 1/3 of the prize money was allocated to the main fund and 2/3 was allocated to the special fund of this prize section”

The Nobel Prize in Literature 1939

“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

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

The Nobel Prize in Literature 1937

“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

“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. 1/3 of the prize money was allocated to the main fund and 2/3 was allocated to the special fund of this prize section”

The Nobel Prize in Literature 1934

“for his bold and ingenious revival of dramatic and scenic art”

The Nobel Prize in Literature 1933

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

The Nobel Prize in Literature 1932

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

The Nobel Prize in Literature 1931

“The poetry of Erik Axel Karlfeldt”

The Nobel Prize in Literature 1930

“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

“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

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

The Nobel Prize in Literature 1927

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

The Nobel Prize in Literature 1926

“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

“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

“for his great national epic, The Peasants

The Nobel Prize in Literature 1923

“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

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

The Nobel Prize in Literature 1921

“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

“for his monumental work, Growth of the Soil

The Nobel Prize in Literature 1919

“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

“for his varied and rich poetry, which is inspired by lofty ideals”
“for his authentic descriptions of present-day life in Denmark”

The Nobel Prize in Literature 1916

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

The Nobel Prize in Literature 1915

“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

“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

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

The Nobel Prize in Literature 1911

“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

“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

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

The Nobel Prize in Literature 1908

“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

“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

“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

“because of his outstanding merits as an epic writer”

The Nobel Prize in Literature 1904

“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”
“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

“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

“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

“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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