The Nobel Prize in Literature (Swedish: Nobelpriset i litteratur) is awarded annually by the Swedish Academy to authors for outstanding contributions in the field of literature. It is one of the five Nobel Prizes established by the 1895 will of Alfred Nobel, which are awarded for outstanding contributions in chemistry, physics, literature, peace, and physiology or medicine. As dictated by Nobel's will, the award is administered by the Nobel Foundation and awarded by a committee that consists of five members elected by the Swedish Academy. The first Nobel Prize in Literature was awarded in 1901 to Sully Prudhomme of France. Each recipient receives a medal, a diploma and a monetary award prize that has varied throughout the years. In 1901, Prudhomme received 150,782 SEK, which is equivalent to 8,823,637.78 SEK in January 2018. The award is presented in Stockholm at an annual ceremony on December 10, the anniversary of Nobel's death.
As of 2016, the Nobel Prize in Literature has been awarded to 113 individuals. When he received the award in 1958, Russian-born Boris Pasternak was forced to publicly reject the award under pressure from the government of the Soviet Union. In 1964, Jean-Paul Sartre made known that he did not wish to accept the Nobel Prize in Literature, as he had consistently refused all official honors in the past. However the Nobel committee does not acknowledge refusals, and includes Pasternak and Sartre in its list of Nobel laureates.
Fourteen women have won the Nobel Prize in Literature, more than any other Nobel Prize with the exception of the Nobel Peace Prize. Among all the years the Nobel Prize in Literature has been awarded, there have been only four instances in which the award was given to two people (1904, 1917, 1966, 1974). There have been seven years in which the Nobel Prize in Literature was not awarded (1914, 1918, 1935, 1940–1943). The country with the most recipients of the Nobel Prize in Literature is France, with 16, followed by the United States and the United Kingdom with 11.
|1901||Sully Prudhomme||France||French||"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"||poetry, essay|
|1902||Theodor Mommsen||Germany||German||"the greatest living master of the art of historical writing, with special reference to his monumental work, A History of Rome"||history, law|
|1903||Bjørnstjerne Bjørnson||Norway||Norwegian||"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"||poetry, novel, drama|
|1904||Frédéric Mistral||France||Provençal||"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 Provençal philologist"||poetry, philology|
|José Echegaray||Spain||Spanish||"in recognition of the numerous and brilliant compositions which, in an individual and original manner, have revived the great traditions of the Spanish drama"||drama|
|1905||Henryk Sienkiewicz||Poland||Polish||"because of his outstanding merits as an epic writer"||novel|
|1906||Giosuè Carducci||Italy||Italian||"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"||poetry|
|1907||Rudyard Kipling||United Kingdom||English||"in consideration of the power of observation, originality of imagination, virility of ideas and remarkable talent for narration that characterize the creations of this world-famous author"||novel, short story, poetry|
|1908||Rudolf Christoph Eucken||Germany||German||"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 in his numerous works he has vindicated and developed an idealistic philosophy of life"||philosophy|
|1909||Selma Lagerlöf||Sweden||Swedish||"in appreciation of the lofty idealism, vivid imagination and spiritual perception that characterize her writings"||novel, short story|
|1910||Paul von Heyse||Germany||German||"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"||poetry, drama, novel, short story|
|1911||Maurice Maeterlinck||Belgium||French||"in appreciation of his many-sided literary activities, and especially of his dramatic works, which are distinguished by a wealth of imagination and by a poetic fancy, which reveals, sometimes in the guise of a fairy tale, a deep inspiration, while in a mysterious way they appeal to the readers' own feelings and stimulate their imaginations"||drama, poetry, essay|
|1912||Gerhart Hauptmann||Germany||German||"primarily in recognition of his fruitful, varied and outstanding production in the realm of dramatic art"||drama, novel|
|1913||Rabindranath Tagore||India (formerly British Raj)||Bengali and English||"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"||poetry, novel, drama, short story, music|
|1915||Romain Rolland||France||French||"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"||novel|
|1916||Verner von Heidenstam||Sweden||Swedish||"in recognition of his significance as the leading representative of a new era in our literature"||poetry, novel|
|1917||Karl Adolph Gjellerup||Denmark||Danish||"for his varied and rich poetry, which is inspired by lofty ideals"||poetry|
|Henrik Pontoppidan||Denmark||Danish||"for his authentic descriptions of present-day life in Denmark"||novel|
|1919||Carl Spitteler||Switzerland||German||"in special appreciation of his epic, Olympian Spring"||poetry|
|1920||Knut Hamsun||Norway||Norwegian||"for his monumental work, Growth of the Soil"||novel|
|1921||Anatole France||France||French||"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"||novel, poetry|
|1922||Jacinto Benavente||Spain||Spanish||"for the happy manner in which he has continued the illustrious traditions of the Spanish drama"||drama|
|1923||William Butler Yeats||Ireland||English||"for his always inspired poetry, which in a highly artistic form gives expression to the spirit of a whole nation"||poetry|
|1924||Władysław Reymont||Poland||Polish||"for his great national epic, The Peasants"||novel|
|1925||George Bernard Shaw||Ireland||English||"for his work which is marked by both idealism and humanity, its stimulating satire often being infused with a singular poetic beauty"||drama, literary criticism|
|1926||Grazia Deledda||Italy||Italian||"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"||poetry, novel|
|1927||Henri Bergson||France||French||"in recognition of his rich and vitalizing ideas and the brilliant skill with which they have been presented"||philosophy|
|1928||Sigrid Undset|| Norway|
(Born in Denmark)
|Norwegian||"principally for her powerful descriptions of Northern life during the Middle Ages"||novel|
|1929||Thomas Mann||Germany||German||"principally for his great novel, Buddenbrooks, which has won steadily increased recognition as one of the classic works of contemporary literature"||novel, short story, essay|
|1930||Sinclair Lewis||United States||English||"for his vigorous and graphic art of description and his ability to create, with wit and humour, new types of characters"||novel, short story, drama|
|1931||Erik Axel Karlfeldt||Sweden||Swedish||"The poetry of Erik Axel Karlfeldt"||poetry|
|1932||John Galsworthy||United Kingdom||English||"for his distinguished art of narration, which takes its highest form in The Forsyte Saga"||novel|
|1933||Ivan Bunin|| France|
(Born in Russia)
|Russian||"for the strict artistry with which he has carried on the classical Russian traditions in prose writing"||short story, poetry, novel|
|1934||Luigi Pirandello||Italy||Italian||"for his bold and ingenious revival of dramatic and scenic art"||drama, novel, short story|
|1936||Eugene O'Neill||United States||English||"for the power, honesty and deep-felt emotions of his dramatic works, which embody an original concept of tragedy"||drama|
|1937||Roger Martin du Gard||France||French||"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"||novel|
|1938||Pearl S. Buck||United States||English||"for her rich and truly epic descriptions of peasant life in China and for her biographical masterpieces"||novel, biography|
|1939||Frans Eemil Sillanpää||Finland||Finnish||"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 with Nature"||novel|
|1944||Johannes Vilhelm Jensen||Denmark||Danish||"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"||poetry|
|1945||Gabriela Mistral||Chile||Spanish||"for her lyric poetry, which inspired by powerful emotions, has made her name a symbol of the idealistic aspirations of the entire Latin American world"||poetry|
|1946||Hermann Hesse|| Switzerland|
(Born in Germany)
|German||"for his inspired writings, which while growing in boldness and penetration, exemplify the classical humanitarian ideals and high qualities of style"||novel, poetry|
|1947||André Gide||France||French||"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"||novel, essay|
|1948||T. S. Eliot|| United Kingdom|
(Born in the United States)
|English||"for his outstanding, pioneer contribution to present-day poetry"||poetry|
|1949||William Faulkner||United States||English||"for his powerful and artistically unique contribution to the modern American novel"||novel, short story|
|1950||Bertrand Russell||United Kingdom||English||"in recognition of his varied and significant writings in which he champions humanitarian ideals and freedom of thought"||philosophy|
|1951||Pär Lagerkvist||Sweden||Swedish||"for the artistic vigour and true independence of mind with which he endeavours in his poetry to find answers to the eternal questions confronting mankind"||poetry, novel, short story, drama|
|1952||François Mauriac||France||French||"for the deep spiritual insight and the artistic intensity with which he has in his novels penetrated the drama of human life"||novel, short story|
|1953||Winston Churchill||United Kingdom||English||"for his mastery of historical and biographical description as well as for brilliant oratory in defending exalted human values"||history, essay, memoirs|
|1954||Ernest Hemingway||United States||English||"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"||novel, short story, screenplay|
|1955||Halldór Laxness||Iceland||Icelandic||"for his vivid epic power, which has renewed the great narrative art of Iceland"||novel, short story, drama, poetry|
|1956||Juan Ramón Jiménez||Spain||Spanish||"for his lyrical poetry, which in Spanish language constitutes an example of high spirit and artistical purity"||poetry|
|1957||Albert Camus|| France|
(Born in French Algeria)
|French||"for his important literary production, which with clear-sighted earnestness illuminates the problems of the human conscience in our times"||novel, short story, drama, philosophy, essay|
|1958||Boris Pasternak||Soviet Union||Russian||"for his important achievement both in contemporary lyrical poetry and in the field of the great Russian epic tradition"||novel, poetry, translation|
|1959||Salvatore Quasimodo||Italy||Italian||"for his lyrical poetry, which with classical fire expresses the tragic experience of life in our own times"||poetry|
|1960||Saint-John Perse|| France|
(Born in Guadeloupe)
|French||"for the soaring flight and the evocative imagery of his poetry, which in a visionary fashion reflects the conditions of our time"||poetry|
'Of Nobel Class': Part 1. An Overview of ISI Studies on Highly Cited Authors and Nobel Laureates.
Essays/Vol:15, #33, p.116, August 17, 1992.
Eugene Garfield and Alfred Welljams-Dorof. "Of Nobel Class: A Citation Perspective on High Impact Research Authors" Theor. Med. 13(2): 117-35, June 1992.
Essays/Vol:15, p.118, 1992.
Eugene Garfield and Alfred Welljams-Dorof. "Of Nobel Class: A Citation Perspective on High Impact Research Authors (Part 2)" Theor. Med. 13(2): 117-35, June 1992.
Essays/Vol:15, p.128, 1992.
Theoretical Medicine's Special Issue on the Nobel Prizes and Their Effect on Science.
Essays/Vol:15, #37, p.137, September 14, 1992.
B.I.B. Lindahl, "Discovery, Theory Change, and the Nobel Prize: On the Mechanisms of Scientific Evolution. An Introduction." Theor. Med (whole issue) 13(2): 97-231, 1992.
Essays/Vol:15, p.140, 1992-93
The 1991 Nobel Prize Winners--from Patch Clamps (Neher and Sakmann) to Spaghetti
Theory (de Gennes), Social Costs (Coase), and NMR (Ernst)--Were All Citation Superstars.
Essays/Vol:15, #5, p.12, February 3, 1992.
The 1990 Nobel Prize Winners: A Citationist Retrospective.
Essays/Vol:14, #11, p.41, March 18, 1991.
What Tonegawa's Nobel Doesn't Mean.
The Scientist, Vol:1(25),November 16, 1987.
Essays/Vol:14, p.273, 1991
Who Will Win the Nobel Prize in Economics? Here's a Forecast Based
on Citation Indicators.
Essays/Vol:13, #11, p.83, March 12, 1990.
The 1989 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine Is Awarded to J. Michael Bishop and Harold E. Varmus for Their Contribution to Cancer Research.
Essays/Vol:13, #16, p.125, April 16, 1990.
The 1989 Nobel Prize in Chemistry Goes to Sidney Altman and Thomas R.
Cech for the Discovery of Enzymatic RNA.
Essays/Vol:13, #29, p.266, July 16, 1990.
Of Atomic Clocks, Ion Traps, and Quantum Leaps: The 1989 Nobel Prize in Physics Is Awarded to
Norman F. Ramsey, Wolfgang Paul, and Hans G. Dehmelt.
Essays/Vol:13, #35, p.316, August 27, 1990.
The 1988 Nobel Prize in Chemistry Goes to Johann Deisenhofer, Robert Huber, and Hartmut Michel for Elucidating Photosynthetic Processes.
Essays/Vol:12, #22, p.148, May 29, 1989.
The 1988 Nobel Prize in Medicine:Sir James W. Black, Gertrude B. Elion and George H. Hitchings
Ennoble Pharmaceutical Research.
Essays/Vol:12, #30, p.201, July 24, 1989.
The 1988 Nobel Prize in Physics: Melvin Schwartz, Leon Lederman, Jack Steinberger, and
the Story of Two Neutrinos.
Essays/Vol:12, #32, p.216, August 7, 1989.
The 1988 Nobel Prize in Economics Honors Maurice Allais of France; Literature Prize
goes to Egyptian Novelist Naguib Mahfouz.
Essays/Vol:12, #40, p.274, October 2, 1989.
Citation Analysis Highlights the Key Role in Antibody Diversity Research Played by Susumu Tonegawa, the 1987 Nobel Laureate in Medicine.
Essays/Vol:11, #14, p.103, April 4, 1988.
Work on Molecules That Mimic Biological Processes Leads to 1987 Nobel Prize in Chemistry for
Jean-Marie Lehn, Charles J. Pedersen, and Donald J. Cram.
Essays/Vol:11, #15, p.111, April 11, 1988.
Theory of Technology's Role in Economic Growth Brings MIT's Robert M. Solow the 1987 Nobel Prize in Economic Sciences.
Essays/Vol:11, #17, p.123, April 25, 1988.
The 1987 Nobel Prize in Physics:Citations to K.A. Muller and J. G. Bednorz's Seminal Work Mirror
Developments in Superconductivity.
Essays/Vol:11, #18, p.129, May 2, 1988.
Fifty Classics from the Journal of Clinical Investiganon: Over 60 Years of Nobel-Class Research.
Essays/Vol:10, #8, p.50, February 23, 1987.
Stanley Cohen's and Rita Levi-Montalcini's Discoveries of Growth Factors Lead to 1986 Nobel in Medicine.
Essays/Vol:10, #17, p.106, April 27, 1987.
Investigations of Chemical Reactions Lead to 1986 Nobel in Chemistry for John C. Polanyi, Dudley R. Herschbach, and Yuan T. Lee; In Physics, Ernst Ruska, Gerd Binning, and Heinrich Rohrer Share Prize for Advances in Microscopy.
Essays/Vol:10, #23, p.143, June8, 1987.
Public-Choice Theory Brings James M. Buchanan the 1986 Nobel Prize in Economics; Nigerian Poet and Playwright Wole Soyiria Awarded the Literature Prize.
Essays/Vol:10, #24, p.152, June 15, 1987.
Do Nobel Prize Winners Write Citation Classics?
Essays/Vol:9, #23, p.182, June 9, 1986.
The 1985 Nobel Prize in Medicine -- S. Brown and Joseph L. Goldstein Have Revolutionized Our Knowledge About Cholesterol Metabolism and Heart Disease.
Essays/Vol:9, #38, p.282, September 22, 1986.
Franco Modigliani of MIT Wins the 1985 Nobel Prize in Economics; Novelist Claude
Simon of France Receives the Prize for Literature.
Essays/Vol:9, #41, p.307, October 3, 1986.
The 1985 Nobel Chemistry Prize to Jerome Karle and Herbert A. Hauptman and the
Physics Prize to Klaus von Klitzing Contrast Delayed Versus "Instant" Recognition.
Essays/Vol:9, #44, p.336, November 3, 1986.
Garfield, E. "The relationship between international science indicators, Nobel class science, and science mapping in the formation of science policy ," p.1-22, 1986.
Statement (Unpublished), No:343.
The 1983 Nobel Prize. Part 2. Myth or Reality: Premature Discovery Is Not the Same as Being Ignored! Barbara McClintock and the Prize in Medicine.
Essays/Vol:8, #7, p.60, February 18, 1985.
The 1983 Nobel Prizes. Part 3. Economics and Literature Awards Go to Gerard Debreu and William Golding.
Essays/Vol:8, #8, p.68, February 25, 1985.
The 1984 Nobel Prize in Medicine Is Awarded to Niels K. Jerne, Cesar Milstein, and Georges J.F. Kohler for their Contributions to Immunology.
Essays/Vol:8, #45, p.416, November 11, 1985.
The 1984 Nobel Prize in Physics Goes to Carlo Rubbia and Simon van der Meer; Bruce Merrifield Is Awarded the Chemistry Prize.
Essays/Vol:8, #46, p.432, November 18, 1985.
The 1984 Nobel Prizes in Economics and Literature are Awarded to Sir Richard Stone for Pioneering Systems of National Accounting and to Jaroslav Seifert, the National Poet of Czechoslovakia.
Essays/Vol:8, #49, p.469, December 9, 1985.
The 1982 Nobel Prize in Chemistry Goes to Structural Biologist Aaron Klug.
Essays/Vol:7, #3, p.12, January 16, 1984.
The 1982 Nobel Prize in Medicine Recognizes the Impact of the
Prostaglandin Research by S.K. Bergstrom, B.I. Samuelsson, and J.R. Vane.
Essays/Vol:7, #12, p.77, March 19, 1984.
The 1982 Nobel Prize for Economic Science Goes to George J. Stigler
for His Work on Industrial Structure, Markets, the Effects of Regulation, and the Economics of Information.
Essays/Vol:7, #15, p.108, April 9, 1984.
Garcia Marquez Receives 1982 Nobel Prize Literature.
Essays/Vol:7, #16, p.113, April 16, 1984.
The 1983 Nobel Prizes. Part 1. Physics and Chemistry Awards Go to Chandrasekhar, Fowler & Taube.
Essays/Vol:7, #51, p.420, December 17, 1984.
The 1982 Nobel Prize in Physics.
Essays/Vol:6, #50, p.413, December 12, 1983.
The 1,000 Most-Cited Contemporary Authors. Part 2A. Details on Authors the Physical and Chemical Sciences and Some Comments about Nobels and Academy Memberships.
Essays/Vol:5, #9, p.428, March 2, 1982.
Were the 1981 Nobel Prizewinners in Science, Economics, and Literature Anticipated by Citation Analysis?
Physics - Kai Siegbahn, Nicolaas Bloembergen, Author Schawlow
Chemistry - Kenichi Fukui, Roald Hoffmann
Physiology or Medicine - Roger W. Sperry, David H. Hubel, Torsten N. Wiesel
Economics - James Tobin
Literature - Elias Canetti
Essays/Vol:5, #23, p.551, June 7, 1982.
To Remember Sir Hans Krebs: Nobelist, Friend, and Adviser.
Essays/Vol:5, #31, p.627, August 2, 1982.
The 1980 Nobel Prizewinners.
Essays/Vol:5, #31, p.189, August 3, 1981.
The 100 Most-Cited Authors of 20th Century Literature. Can Citation Data Forecast the Nobel Prize in Literature?
Essays/Vol:4, #4, p.363, January 28, 1980.
Are the 1979 Prizewinners of Nobel Class?
Essays/Vol:4, #38, p.609, September 22, 1980
The 250 most-cited primary authors, 1961-1975. Part II. The correlation between citedness, Nobel prizes, and academy memberships.
Essays/Vol:3, #50, p.337, December 12, 1977