The Nobel Prize in Literature 1961
Born: 10 October 1892, Dolac, Bosnia (now Bosnia and Herzegovina)
Died: 13 March 1975, Belgrade, Yugoslavia (now Serbia)
Residence at the time of the award: Yugoslavia
Prize motivation: "for the epic force with which he has traced themes and depicted human destinies drawn from the history of his country."
Prize share: 1/1
Ivo Andric was born into a craftsman’s family in Dolac in Bosnia-Herzegovina, which was then part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. After schooling in Višegrad and Sarajevo, Andric studied subjects such as history and philosophy at universities in Zagreb, Vienna, Graz, and Crakow. Andric worked for an association of southern Slavic countries, and after the formation of Yugoslavia, he served as a diplomat for the country. Beginning in the 1940s, he devoted himself mainly to his writing. Andric married late and had no children.
Ivo Andric initially wrote poetry, and his ideas were influenced by such philosophers as Kierkegaard. However, it was the historical epic that would become his main literary genre. Andric’s works, including his novel Na Drini cuprija (The Bridge on the Drina), illuminate the destinies of individuals against a historical, cultural, and religious background. His stories not only convey great affection for people but also depict violence and cruelty. His stories are rich in astute psychological observations, and his language is characterized by simplicity and a wealth of details.