The Nobel Prize in Literature

1966 Literature Laureate Nelly Sachs' amethyst stones inspired her writing by giving her feeling of safety and comfort.

© Nobel Media. Photo: Alexander Mahmoud

About the prize

“The said interest shall be divided into five equal parts, which shall be apportioned as follows: /- - -/ one part to the person who shall have produced in the field of literature the most outstanding work in an ideal direction ...” (Excerpt from the will of Alfred Nobel)

Alfred Nobel had broad cultural interests. During his early youth, he developed his literary interests which lasted throughout his life. His library consisted of a rich and broad selection of literature in different languages. During the last years of his life, he tried his hand as an author and began writing fiction. Literature was the fourth prize area Nobel mentioned in his will.

The Nobel Prize in Literature is awarded by The Swedish Academy, Stockholm, Sweden.

See all literature laureates or learn about the nomination process.

Explore prizes and laureates

The Nobel Prizes in Literature for 2018 and 2019

Nobel Prize in Literature 2018

The Nobel Prize in Literature for 2018 is awarded to the Polish author Olga Tokarczuk "for a narrative imagination that with encyclopedic passion represents the crossing of boundaries as a form of life."

Bio-bibliography

Interview

 

Olga Tokarczuk.

Olga Tokarczuk.

Ill. Niklas Elmehed. © Nobel Media.

Nobel Prize in Literature 2019

The Nobel Prize in Literature for 2019 is awarded to the Austrian author Peter Handke "for an influential work that with linguistic ingenuity has explored the periphery and the specificity of human experience."

Bio-bibliography

Interview

Peter Handke

Peter Handke

Ill. Niklas Elmehed. © Nobel Media.

Q&A about the Nobel Prize in Literature

How is the Nobel Prize in Literature decided?

"We are looking all over the world". Watch our exclusive Q&A with Anders Olsson, chair of the Nobel Committee of the Swedish Academy, about the selection of Literature Laureates.

Nobel Prize in Literature 2017

The Nobel Prize in Literature for 2017 is awarded to Kazuo Ishiguro “who, in novels of great emotional force, has uncovered the abyss beneath our illusory sense of connection with the world.”

Literature2017.jpg

Photo: Courtesy of Faber & Faber

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