NOBEL PRIZE WINNERS IN LITERATURE
1901-2002
    V.S. Naipaul
    Imre Kertesz

Each year the respective Nobel Prize committees send individual invitations to thousands of scientists, members of academies and university professors in numerous countries, asking them to nominate candidates for the Nobel Prizes for the coming year. Those who are competent to submit nominations are chosen in such away that as many countries and universities as possible will be represented. The nominations received by each committee are then evaluated with the help of specially appointed experts. When the committees have made their selection among the nominated candidates and have presented their recommendations to the Prize Awarding Institutions, a vote is taken for the final choice of Laureates. The choice of the year's laureates is announced immediately after the vote in October each year. The prizes are awarded at the Prize Award Ceremony at the Concert Hall in Stockholm, Sweden on December 10 (the anniversary of Alfred Nobel's death). The Nobel Prize for Literature is awarded by the Swedish Academy, an independent cultural institution founded in 1786 by King Gustav III in order to advance the Swedish language and Swedish literature. In the following table we include in addition to the name and nationality of the Laureate, an excerpt from the Academy's citation.

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2002 Imre Kertesz Hungary For writing that upholds the fragile experience of the individual against the barbaric arbitrariness of history.
2001 V. S. Naipaul Great 
Britain
For having united perceptive narrative and incorruptible scrutiny in works that compel us to see the presence of suppressed histories.
2000 Gao Xingjian China An oeuvre of universal validity, bitter insights and linguistic ingenuity, which has opened new paths for the Chinese novel and drama.
1999 GUNTER GRASS Germany Whose frolicsome black fables portray the forgotten face of history.
1998 JOSE SARAMAGO Portugal Who with parables sustained by imagination, compassion and irony continually enables us once again to apprehend an illusory reality.
1997 DARIO FO Italy Who emulates the jesters of the Middle Ages in scourging authority and upholding the dignity of the downtrodden.
1996 WISLAWA SZMBORSKA Poland For poetry that with ironic precision allows the historical and biological context to come to light in fragments of human reality.
1995 SEAMUS HEANEY Ireland For works of lyrical beauty and ethical depth, which exalt everyday miracles and the living past.
1994 KENZABURO OE Japan Who with poetic force creates an imagined world, where life and myth condense to form a disconcerting picture of the human predicament today.
1993 TONI MORRISON U.S. Who in novels characterized by visionary force and poetic import, gives life to an essential aspect of American reality.
1992 DEREK WALCOTT West 
Indies
For a poetic oeuvre of great luminosity, sustained by a historical vision, the outcome of a multicultural commitment.
1991 NADINE GORDIMER South 
Africa
Who through her magnificent epic writing has - in the words of Alfred Nobel - been of very great benefit to humanity.
1990 OCTAVIO PAZ Mexico For impassioned writing with wide horizons, characterized by sensuous intelligence and humanistic integrity.
1989 CAMILO JOSE CELA Spain For a rich and intensive prose, which with restrained compassion forms a challenging vision of man's vulnerability.
1988 NAGUIB MAHFOUZ Egypt Who through works rich in nuance - now clearsightedly realistic, now evocatively ambiguous - has formed an Arabian narrative art that applies to all mankind.
1987 JOSEPH BRODSKY U. S. For an all-embracing authorship, imbued with clarity of thought and poetic intensity.
1986 WOLE SOYINKA Nigeria Who in a wide cultural perspective and with poetic overtones fashions the drama of existence.
1985 CLAUDE SIMON France 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.
1984 JAROSLAV SEIFERT Czecho-
slovakia
For his poetry which endowed with freshness, sensuality and rich inventiveness provides a liberating image of the indomitable spirit and versatility of man.
1983 WILLIAM GOLDING Great
Britain
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. 
1982 GABRIEL GARCIA MARQUEZ Colombia For his novels and short stories, in which fantastic and the realistic are combined in a richly composed world of imagination, reflecting a continent's life and conflicts.
1981 ELIAS CANETTI Great 
Britain
For writings marked by a broad outlook, a wealth of ideas and artistic power. 
1980 CZELAW MILOSZ Poland, 
U.S.
Who with uncompromising clear-sightedness voices man's exposed condition in a world of severe conflicts.
1979 ODYSSEUS ELYTIS
(Odysseus Alepoudhelis)
Greece 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.
1978 ISAAC BASHEVIS SINGER U.S. For his impassioned narrative art which, with roots in a Polish-Jewish cultural tradition, brings universal human conditions to life.
1977 VICENTE ALEIXANDRE Spain 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.
1976 SAUL BELLOW U. S. For the human understanding and subtle analysis of contemporary culture that are combined in his work.
1975 EUGENIO MONTALE Italy For his distinctive poetry which, with great artistic sensitivity, has interpreted human values under the sign of an outlook on life with no illusions.
1974 EYVIND JOHNSON Sweden For a narrative art, farseeing in lands and ages, in the service of freedom.
1974 HARRY MARTINSON Sweden For writings that catch the dewdrop and reflect the cosmos.
1973 PATRICK WHITE Australia For an epic and psychological narrative art which has introduced a new continent into literature.
1972 HEINRICH BOLL Germany 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
1971 PABLO NERUDA Chile For a poetry that with the action of an elemental force brings alive a continent's destiny and dreams.
1970 ALEKSANDR ISAEVICH SOLZHENITSYN USSR For the ethical force with which he has pursued the indispensable traditions of Russian literature.
1969 SAMUEL BECKETT Ireland For his writing which - in new forms for the novel and drama - in the destitution of modern man acquires its elevation.
1968 YASUNARI KAWABATA Japan For his narrative mastery, which with great sensibility expresses the essence of the Japanese mind.
1967 MIGUEL ANGEL ASTURIAS Guatemala For his vivid literary achievement, deep-rooted in the national traits and traditions of Indian peoples of Latin America.
1966 SHMUEL YOSEF AGNON Israel For his profoundly characteristic narrative art with motifs from the life of the Jewish people.
1966 NELLY SACHS Germany For her outstanding lyrical and dramatic writing, which interprets Israel's destiny with touching strength.
1965 MIKHAIL ALEKSANDROVICH SHOLOKHOV USSR 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.
1964 JEAN-PAUL SARTRE France 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.
1963 GIORGOS SEFERIS
(Giorgos Seferiadis)
Greece For his eminent lyrical writing, inspired by a deep feeling for Hellenic world of culture.
1962 JOHN STEINBECK U. S. For his realistic and imaginative writings, combining as they do sympathetic humour and keen social perception.
1961 IVO ANDRIC Yugoslavia For the epic force with which he has traced themes and depicted human destinies drawn from the history of his country.
1960 SAINT-JOHN PERSE
(Alexis Leger) 
France For the soaring flight and evocative imagery of his poetry which in a visionary fashion reflects the conditions of our times.
1959 SALVATORE QUASIMODO Italy For his lyrical poetry, which with classical fire, expresses the tragic experience of life in our own times.
1958 BORIS LEONIDOVICH PASTERNAK USSR For his important achievement both in contemporary lyrical poetry and in the field of the great Russian epic tradition.
1957 ALBERT CAMUS France For his important literary production, which with clear-sighted earnestness illuminates the problems of the human conscience in our times.
1956 JUAN RAMON JIMENEZ Spain For his lyrical poetry, which in the Spanish language constitutes an example of high spirit and artistic purity.
1955 HALLDOR KILJAN LAXNESS Iceland For his vivid epic power which has renewed the great narrative art of Iceland.
1954 ERNEST MILLER HEMINGWAY US 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.
1953 WINSTON LEONARD SPENCER CHURCHILL Great 
Britain
For his mastery of historical and biographical description as well as for brilliant oratory in defending exalted human values.
1952 FRANCOIS MAURIAC France For the deep spiritual insight and the artistic intensity with he has in his novels penetrated the drama of human life.
1951 PAR FABIAN  LAGERKVIST Sweden For the artistic vigor and true independence of mind with which he endeavors in his poetry to find answers to the eternal questions confronting mankind.
1950 BERTRAND RUSSELL Great 
Britain
In recognition of his varied and significant writings in which he champions humanitarian ideals and freedom of thought.
1949 WILLIAM FAULKNER U. S. For his powerfully and artistically unique contribution to the modern American novel.
1948 THOMAS STEARNS ELIOT Great 
Britain
For his outstanding, pioneering contribution to present-day poetry.
1947 ANDRE PAUL GUILLAUME GIDE France 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.
1946 HERMANN HESSE  Switzerland For his inspired writings which exemplify the classical humanitarian ideals and high
qualities of style.
1945 GABRIELA MISTRAL
(Lucila Godoy Y Alca-Yaga)
Chile For her lyric poetry which has made her a symbol of the idealistic aspirations of the entire Latin American world.
1944 JOHANNES VILHELM JENSEN Denmark 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.
1943 No award
1942 No award
1941 No award
1940 No award
1939 FRANZ EEMIL SILANPAA Finland 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 to nature.
1938 Pearl Buck
(Pearl Walsh nee Sydenstricker)
US For her rich and truly epic descriptions of peasant life in China and her biographical masterpieces.
1937 ROGER MARTIN DU GARD France 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.
1936 EUGENE GLADSTONE O'NEILL US For the power, honesty and deep-felt emotions of his dramatic works, which embody an original concept of tragedy.
1935 No award
1934 LUIGI PIRANDELLO Italy For his bold and ingenious revival of dramatic and scenic art.
1933 IVAN ALEKSEYEVICH BUNIN (France) For the strict artistry with which he has carried on the classical Russian traditions in prose writing.
1932 JOHN GALSWORTHY Great 
Britain
For his distinguished art of narration which takes its highest form in The Forsyth Saga.
1931 ERIK AXEL KARFELDT Sweden For his poetry.
1930 SINCLAIR LEWIS US For his vigorous and graphic art of description and his ability to create with wit and humor, new types of characters.
1929 THOMAS MANN Germany Principally for his great novel Buddenbrooks, which has won steadily increased recognition as one of the classic works of contemporary literature.
1928 SIGRID UNDSET Norway Principally for her powerful descriptions of Northern life during the Middle Ages.
1927 HENRI BERGSON France In recognition of his rich and vitalizing ideas and the brilliant skill with which they have been presented.
1926 GRAZIA DELEDDA
(Grazia Madesani nee Deledda)
Italy 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.
1925 GEORGE BERNARD SHAW Great 
Britain
For his work which is marked by both idealism and humanity, its stimulating satire being infused with a singular poetic beauty.
1924 WLADYSLAW STANISLAW REYMONT Poland For his great national epic, The Peasants.
1923 WILLIAM BUTLER YEATS Ireland For his always inspired poetry, which in a highly artistic form gives expression to the spirit of a whole nation. 
1922 JACINTO BENAVENTE Spain For the happy manner in which he has continued the illustrious traditions of the Spanish drama.
1921 ANATOLE FRANCE
(Jacques Anatole Thibault)
France 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.
1920 KNUT PEDERSEN HAMSUN Norway For his monumental work, Growth of the Soil
1919 CARL FRIEDRICH SPITTELER Switzerland In special appreciation of his epic, Olympian Spring.
1918 No award
1917 KARL ADOLPH GJELLERUP Denmark For his varied and rich poetry, which is inspired by lofty ideals.
1917 HENRIK PONTOPPIDAN Denmark For his authentic descriptions of present-day life in Denmark. 
1916 CARL GUSTAV VERNER VON HEIDENSTAM Sweden In recognition of his significance as the leading representative of a new era in literature.
1915 ROMAIN ROLLAND France 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.
1914 No award
1913 RABINDRANATH TAGORE India 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. 
1912 GERHART JOHANN ROBERT HAUPTMANN Germany Primarily in recognition of his fruitful, varied and outstanding production in the realm of dramatic art.
1911 COUNT MAURICE (MOORIS) POLIDORE MARIE BERNHARD MAETERLINCK Belgium In appreciation of his many-sided literary activities, and especially of his dramatic works.
1910 PAUL JOHANN LUDWIG HEYSE Germany 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.
1909 SELMA OTTILIA LOVISA LAGERLOF Sweden In appreciation of the lofty idealism. vivid imagination and spiritual perception that characterize her writings.
1908 RUDOLF CHRISTOPH EUCKEN Germany 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 ... he has vindicated and developed an idealistic philosophy of life.
1907 RUDYARD KIPLING Great 
Britain
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.
1906 GIOSUE CARDUCCI Italy 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.
1905 HENRYK SIENKIEWICZ Poland Because of his outstanding merits as an epic writer.
1904 FREDERIC MISTRAL France 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 Provencal philologist.
1904 JOSE ECHEGARAY Y EIZAGUIRRE Spain In recognition of the numerous and brilliant compositions which, in an individual and original manner, have revived the great traditions of the Spanish drama.
1903 BJORNSTJERNE MARTINUS BJORNSON Norway 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. 
1902 CHRISTIAN MATTHIAS THEODOR MOMMSEN Germany The greatest living master of the art of historical writing, with reference to his monumental work, A History of Rome.
1901 SULLY PRUDHOMME
(Rene Francois Armand)
France 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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