The Swedish chemist and engineer, Alfred Nobel, was the man who created the Nobel Prizes by leaving $9 million in his last will and testament to annually award recognized men and women all work areas of peace, medicine, economics, physics, chemistry, and literature.
The Nobel Prizes are annually awarded by The Swedish Academy in Stockholm, Sweden. Every award ceremony takes place on the anniversary date of Alfred Nobel’s death – 10 December.
To date, 114 Nobel Prizes in Literature have been awarded since the first literary prize was awarded in 1901. Below, we look back through the timeline of notable literary writers who have won a Nobel Prize in Literature.
Nobel Prize Literature Laureates
1901 – Sully Prudhomme
He was awarded the Nobel Prize in recognition of his poetry works which greatly depicted idealism and intellect.
1907 – Rudyard Kipling
One of the youngest, Rudyard was awarded the Nobel Prize when he was 47 years old. He was well-known for his book called The Jungle Book. His work was recognized for his incredible imagination used in his works of narration.
There were no Nobel Prizes in Literature awarded through these four years as the academy, adhering to Mr. Nobel’s last wishes in his will, felt there were no literary figures worthy of recognition for exemplary work. The prize money was then set aside for the Special Fund of the Nobel Prize in Literature.
There were no Nobel Prizes in Literature awarded in 1935. However, a third of the prize money was set aside to the Main Fund and the balance was set aside to the Special Fund accordingly.
No Nobel Prizes were awarded during this period due to World War 2. However, in 1943, there was yet again no prize awarded but a third of the prize money was set aside to the Main Fund and the balance was set aside to the Special Fund.
1946 – Hermann Hesse
His works were recognized for his efforts which highlighted humanitarian ethics.
1954 – Ernest Miller Hemingway
Mr. Hemingway’s recognized written works showcased brilliant narrative and exemplified his contemporary writing style.
1962 – John Steinbeck
He was awarded a Nobel Prize in recognition of his writing which revealed realism, humor, and social perceptions.
1964 – Jean-Paul Sartre
His work was recognized for the expressions used to personify the quest for freedom and truth. Unfortunately, he declined the award.
1999 – Günter Grass
Recognized for his fables of history, he made Germany very proud.
2016 – Bob Dylan
Bob Dylan made traditional American music popular with his poetic writings.
2018 Nobel Prize in Literature – POSTPONED
Sadly, this year’s awards will only be announced in 2019 due to a recent sexual assault and harassment scandal.
An academy member’s husband, photographer Jean-Claude Arnault is in the center of these accusations. Until the case has been dealt with accordingly, The Swedish Academy has chosen to postpone the annual awards ceremony.
Let the legends of literature continue to strive for literary excellence!