Photo from the Nobel Foundation archive.
The Nobel Prize in Literature 1969
Born: 13 April 1906, Dublin, Ireland
Died: 22 December 1989, Paris, France
Residence at the time of the award: Ireland
Prize motivation: "for his writing, which - in new forms for the novel and drama - in the destitution of modern man acquires its elevation."
Language: English and French
Prize share: 1/1
Samuel Beckett produced his most important works - four novels, two dramas, a collection of short stories, essays, and art criticism - during an intensely creative period in the late 1940s. Irishman Beckett had settled in France and wrote in both French and English. His experiences during World War II - insecurity, confusion, exile, hunger, deprivation - came to shape his writing. In his most famous work, the drama Waiting for Godot, he examines the most basic foundations of our lives with strikingly dark humor.