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Reading the Winners of Nobel Prize for Literature

16 12 10 - 12:12 The Nobel Prize for Literature MedalSometimes it's really hard to find anything good to read. The internet is a great source for reviews, but even the highest-rated novels are potential disappointments; Jan Guillou's Road to Jerusalem (the first Arn novel) was one, for instance. It is hugely popular and received heaps of positive reviews, and yet it turned out to be hollow and amateurish in comparison to the true classics such as Alamut by Vladimir Bartol, or Mika Waltari's entire biography.

After agonizing over this for some time, it occured to me that literature award winners/nominees would be a good source for quality - and I was right! After reading a bunch of Nobel prize winners I'm convinced that the Swedish Academy has awarded top-notch novels and novelists (even in the old days when the Nordics seemed to win every year).

I recently took a tally of how many Nobel winning authors I have read, and I was pleased with the result: 17 so far! One from almost every decade, too; only missing the 1910's and the 2010's. Still a whole lot to go of course, but I have only just begun..

The authors I have read are in bold, and the names of their novels in paranthesis. Red text indicates novels that I have especially liked. The two in italic I'm unsure of; I'm fairly sure I have read something of theirs ages ago, but cannot remember if I finished the books or not..

2010 Mario Vargas Llosa
2009 Herta Müller
2008 Jean-Marie Gustave Le Clézio
2007 Doris Lessing
2006 Orhan Pamuk
2005 Harold Pinter
2004 Elfriede Jelinek
2003 John M. Coetzee (Disgrace)
2002 Imre Kertész
2001 Sir Vidiadhar Surajprasad Naipaul
2000 Gao Xingjian
1999 Günter Grass
1998 José Saramago (Blindness)
1997 Dario Fo
1996 Wislawa Szymborska (Chwila, Sata Szymborskaa)
1995 Seamus Heaney
1994 Kenzaburo Oe
1993 Toni Morrison
1992 Derek Walcott
1991 Nadine Gordimer
1990 Octavio Paz
1989 Camilo José Cela (The Family of Pascual Duarte)
1988 Naguib Mahfouz
1987 Joseph Brodsky
1986 Wole Soyinka
1985 Claude Simon
1984 Jaroslav Seifert
1983 William Golding
1982 Gabriel García Márquez (A Hundred Years of Solitude)
1981 Elias Canetti
1980 Czeslaw Milosz (Valley of Issa?)
1979 Odysseus Elytis
1978 Isaac Bashevis Singer (Satan in Goray, The Slave)
1977 Vicente Aleixandre
1976 Saul Bellow
1975 Eugenio Montale
1974 Eyvind Johnson, Harry Martinson
1973 Patrick White
1972 Heinrich Böll (Dr. Murke's Collected Silences)
1971 Pablo Neruda
1970 Aleksandr Isayevich Solzhenitsyn (One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich)
1969 Samuel Beckett
1968 Yasunari Kawabata
1967 Miguel Angel Asturias
1966 Shmuel Yosef Agnon, Nelly Sachs
1965 Mikhail Aleksandrovich Sholokhov
1964 Jean-Paul Sartre
1963 Giorgos Seferis
1962 John Steinbeck (Cannery Row, Sweet Thursday)
1961 Ivo Andric
1960 Saint-John Perse
1959 Salvatore Quasimodo
1958 Boris Leonidovich Pasternak
1957 Albert Camus (The Plague)
1956 Juan Ramón Jiménez
1955 Halldór Kiljan Laxness (Salka Valka, Independent People)
1954 Ernest Miller Hemingway (Old Man and the Sea)
1953 Sir Winston Leonard Spencer Churchill
1952 François Mauriac
1951 Pär Fabian Lagerkvist (Barabbas)
1950 Earl (Bertrand Arthur William) Russell
1949 William Faulkner
1948 Thomas Stearns Eliot
1947 André Paul Guillaume Gide
1946 Hermann Hesse (Demian)
1945 Gabriela Mistral
1944 Johannes Vilhelm Jensen
* 1943 No Nobel Prize was awarded this year.
* 1942 No Nobel Prize was awarded this year.
* 1941 No Nobel Prize was awarded this year.
* 1940 No Nobel Prize was awarded this year.
1939 Frans Eemil Sillanpää (Nuorena nukkunut, Ihmisiä suviyössä)
1938 Pearl Buck
1937 Roger Martin du Gard
1936 Eugene Gladstone O'Neill
* 1935 No Nobel Prize was awarded this year.
1934 Luigi Pirandello
1933 Ivan Alekseyevich Bunin
1932 John Galsworthy
1931 Erik Axel Karlfeldt
1930 Sinclair Lewis
1929 Thomas Mann (Death in Venice and Other Stories)
1928 Sigrid Undset
1927 Henri Bergson
1926 Grazia Deledda
1925 George Bernard Shaw
1924 Wladyslaw Stanislaw Reymont
1923 William Butler Yeats
1922 Jacinto Benavente
1921 Anatole France
1920 Knut Pedersen Hamsun (The Hunger)
1919 Carl Friedrich Georg Spitteler
* 1918 No Nobel Prize was awarded this year.
1917 Karl Adolph Gjellerup, Henrik Pontoppidan
1916 Carl Gustaf Verner von Heidenstam
1915 Romain Rolland
* 1914 No Nobel Prize was awarded this year.
1913 Rabindranath Tagore
1912 Gerhart Johann Robert Hauptmann
1911 Count Maurice (Mooris) Polidore Marie Bernhard Maeterlinck
1910 Paul Johann Ludwig Heyse
1909 Selma Ottilia Lovisa Lagerlöf
1908 Rudolf Christoph Eucken
1907 Rudyard Kipling (Captain Courageous)
1906 Giosuè Carducci
1905 Henryk Sienkiewicz (?)
1904 Frédéric Mistral, José Echegaray y Eizaguirre
1903 Bjørnstjerne Martinus Bjørnson
1902 Christian Matthias Theodor Mommsen
1901 Sully Prudhomme Used tags: , ,
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