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Literature Nobel Prize – Nobel Literature prize winners list 1901-2016


Literature Nobel Prize – The Nobel Prize in Literature has been awarded 108 times to 112 Nobel Laureates between 1901 and 2016.

Literature Nobel Prize


               The Nobel Prize in Literature has been awarded 108 times to 112 Nobel Laureates between 1901 and 2015.


Nobel Prizes in Literature

Type – Nobel Prizes in Literature

Category – International   

First Awarded – 1901

Last Awarded – 2015

Official Website –







Svetlana AlexievichBelarus (Born in Ukraine)“for her polyphonic writings, a monument to suffering and courage in our time”


Patrick ModianoFrance“for the art of memory with which he has evoked the most ungraspable human destinies and uncovered the life-world of the occupation”


Alice MunroCanada“master of the contemporary short story”


Mo YanChina“who with hallucinatory realism merges folk tales, history and the contemporary”


Tomas TranströmerSweden“because, through his condensed, translucent images, he gives us fresh access to reality”


Mario Vargas LlosaPeru / Spain“for his cartography of structures of power and his trenchant images of the individual’s resistance, revolt, and defeat”


Herta MüllerGermany“who, with the concentration of poetry and the frankness of prose, depicts the landscape of the dispossessed”


Jean-Marie Gustave Le ClézioFrance / Mauritius“author of new departures, poetic adventure and sensual ecstasy, explorer of a humanity beyond and below the reigning civilization”


Doris LessingUnited Kingdom“that epicist of the female experience, who with scepticism, fire and visionary power has subjected a divided civilisation to scrutiny”


Orhan PamukTurkey“who in the quest for the melancholic soul of his native city has discovered new symbols for the clash and interlacing of cultures”


Harold PinterUnited Kingdom“who in his plays uncovers the precipice under everyday prattle and forces entry into oppression’s closed rooms”


Elfriede JelinekAustria“for her musical flow of voices and counter-voices in novels and plays that with extraordinary linguistic zeal reveal the absurdity of society’s clichés and their subjugating power”


John M. CoetzeeSouth Africa“who in innumerable guises portrays the surprising involvement of the outsider”


Imre KertészHungary“for writing that upholds the fragile experience of the individual against the barbaric arbitrariness of history”


Sir Vidiadhar Surajprasad NaipaulUnited Kingdom“for having united perceptive narrative and incorruptible scrutiny in works that compel us to see the presence of suppressed histories”


Gao XingjianFrance / china“for an æuvre of universal validity, bitter insights and linguistic ingenuity, which has opened new paths for the Chinese novel and drama”


Günter GrassGermany“whose frolicsome black fables portray the forgotten face of history”


José SaramagoPortugal“who with parables sustained by imagination, compassion and irony continually enables us once again to apprehend an elusory reality”


Dario FoItaly“who emulates the jesters of the Middle Ages in scourging authority and upholding the dignity of the downtrodden”


Wislawa SzymborskaPoland“for poetry that with ironic precision allows the historical and biological context to come to light in fragments of human reality”


Seamus HeaneyIreland“for works of lyrical beauty and ethical depth, which exalt everyday miracles and the living past”


Kenzaburo OeJapan“who with poetic force creates an imagined world, where life and myth condense to form a disconcerting picture of the human predicament today”


Toni MorrisonUnited States“who in novels characterized by visionary force and poetic import, gives life to an essential aspect of American reality”


Derek WalcottSaint Lucia“for a poetic oeuvre of great luminosity, sustained by a historical vision, the outcome of a multicultural commitment”


Nadine GordimerSouth Africa“who through her magnificent epic writing has – in the words of Alfred Nobel – been of very great benefit to humanity”


Octavio PazMexico“for impassioned writing with wide horizons, characterized by sensuous intelligence and humanistic integrity”


Camilo José CelaSpain“for a rich and intensive prose, which with restrained compassion forms a challenging vision of man’s vulnerability”


Naguib MahfouzEgypt“who, through works rich in nuance – now clear-sightedly realistic, now evocatively ambiguous – has formed an Arabian narrative art that applies to all mankind”


Joseph BrodskyUnited States“for an all-embracing authorship, imbued with clarity of thought and poetic intensity”


Wole SoyinkaNigeria“who in a wide cultural perspective and with poetic overtones fashions the drama of existence”


Claude SimonFrance“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”


Jaroslav SeifertCzechoslovakia“for his poetry which endowed with freshness, sensuality and rich inventiveness provides a liberating image of the indomitable spirit and versatility of man”


William GoldingUnited Kingdom“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”


Gabriel García MárquezColombia“for his novels and short stories, in which the fantastic and the realistic are combined in a richly composed world of imagination, reflecting a continent’s life and conflicts”


Elias CanettiBulgaria“for writings marked by a broad outlook, a wealth of ideas and artistic power”


Czeslaw MiloszUnited States“who with uncompromising clear-sightedness voices man’s exposed condition in a world of severe conflicts”


Odysseus ElytisGreece“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”


Isaac Bashevis SingerUnited States“for his impassioned narrative art which, with roots in a Polish-Jewish cultural tradition, brings universal human conditions to life”


Vicente AleixandreSpanish State“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”


Saul BellowUnited States“for the human understanding and subtle analysis of contemporary culture that are combined in his work”


Eugenio MontaleItaly“for his distinctive poetry which, with great artistic sensitivity, has interpreted human values under the sign of an outlook on life with no illusions”


Eyvind JohnsonSweden“for a narrative art, far-seeing in lands and ages, in the service of freedom”
Harry MartinsonSweden“for writings that catch the dewdrop and reflect the cosmos”


Patrick WhiteAustralia“for an epic and psychological narrative art which has introduced a new continent into literature”


Heinrich BöllGermany“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”


Pablo NerudaChile“for a poetry that with the action of an elemental force brings alive a continent’s destiny and dreams”


Aleksandr Isayevich SolzhenitsynSoviet Union“for the ethical force with which he has pursued the indispensable traditions of Russian literature”


Samuel BeckettIreland“for his writing, which – in new forms for the novel and drama – in the destitution of modern man acquires its elevation”


Yasunari KawabataJapan“for his narrative mastery, which with great sensibility expresses the essence of the Japanese mind”


Miguel Angel AsturiasGuatemala“for his vivid literary achievement, deep-rooted in the national traits and traditions of Indian peoples of Latin America”


Shmuel Yosef AgnonIsrael“for his profoundly characteristic narrative art with motifs from the life of the Jewish people”
Nelly SachsSweden“for her outstanding lyrical and dramatic writing, which interprets Israel’s destiny with touching strength”


Mikhail Aleksandrovich SholokhovSoviet Union“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”


Jean-Paul SartreFrance“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”


Giorgos SeferisKingdom of Greece“for his eminent lyrical writing, inspired by a deep feeling for the Hellenic world of culture”


John SteinbeckUnited States“for his realistic and imaginative writings, combining as they do sympathetic humour and keen social perception”


Ivo AndricYugoslavia“for the epic force with which he has traced themes and depicted human destinies drawn from the history of his country”


Saint-John PerseFrance“for the soaring flight and the evocative imagery of his poetry which in a visionary fashion reflects the conditions of our time”


Salvatore QuasimodoItaly“for his lyrical poetry, which with classical fire expresses the tragic experience of life in our own times”


Boris Leonidovich PasternakSoviet Union“for his important achievement both in contemporary lyrical poetry and in the field of the great Russian epic tradition”


Albert CamusFrance“for his important literary production, which with clear-sighted earnestness illuminates the problems of the human conscience in our times”


Juan Ramón JiménezSpanish“for his lyrical poetry, which in Spanish language constitutes an example of high spirit and artistical purity”


Halldór Kiljan LaxnessIceland“for his vivid epic power which has renewed the great narrative art of Iceland”


Ernest Miller HemingwayUnited States“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”


Sir Winston Leonard Spencer ChurchillUnited Kingdom“for his mastery of historical and biographical description as well as for brilliant oratory in defending exalted human values”


François MauriacFrance“for the deep spiritual insight and the artistic intensity with which he has in his novels penetrated the drama of human life”


Pär Fabian LagerkvistSweden“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”


Earl (Bertrand Arthur William) RussellUnited Kingdom“in recognition of his varied and significant writings in which he champions humanitarian ideals and freedom of thought”


William FaulknerUnited States“for his powerful and artistically unique contribution to the modern American novel”


Thomas Stearns EliotUnited Kingdom“for his outstanding, pioneer contribution to present-day poetry”


André Paul Guillaume GideFrance“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”


Hermann HesseSwitzerland“for his inspired writings which, while growing in boldness and penetration, exemplify the classical humanitarian ideals and high qualities of style”


Gabriela MistralChile“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”


Johannes Vilhelm JensenDenmark“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”


No Nobel Prize was awarded this year.





Frans Eemil SillanpääFinland“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”


Pearl BuckUnited States“for her rich and truly epic descriptions of peasant life in China and for her biographical masterpieces”


Roger Martin du GardFrance“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


Eugene Gladstone O’NeillUnited States“for the power, honesty and deep-felt emotions of his dramatic works, which embody an original concept of tragedy”


No Nobel Prize was awarded this year.


Luigi PirandelloKingdom of Italy“for his bold and ingenious revival of dramatic and scenic art”


Ivan Alekseyevich Bunin

“for the strict artistry with which he has carried on the classical Russian traditions in prose writing”


John GalsworthyUnited Kingdom“for his distinguished art of narration which takes its highest form in The Forsyte Saga


Erik Axel KarlfeldtSweden“The poetry of Erik Axel Karlfeldt”


Sinclair LewisUnited States“for his vigorous and graphic art of description and his ability to create, with wit and humour, new types of characters”


Thomas MannGermany“principally for his great novel, Buddenbrooks, which has won steadily increased recognition as one of the classic works of contemporary literature”


Sigrid UndsetNorway“principally for her powerful descriptions of Northern life during the Middle Ages”


Henri BergsonFrance“in recognition of his rich and vitalizing ideas and the brilliant skill with which they have been presented”


Grazia DeleddaKingdom of 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”


George Bernard ShawIreland“for his work which is marked by both idealism and humanity, its stimulating satire often being infused with a singular poetic beauty”


Wladyslaw Stanislaw ReymontPoland“for his great national epic, The Peasants


William Butler YeatsIreland“for his always inspired poetry, which in a highly artistic form gives expression to the spirit of a whole nation”


Jacinto BenaventeSpain“for the happy manner in which he has continued the illustrious traditions of the Spanish drama”


Anatole FranceFrance“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”


Knut Pedersen HamsunNorway“for his monumental work, Growth of the Soil


Carl Friedrich Georg SpittelerSwitzerland“in special appreciation of his epic, Olympian Spring


No Nobel Prize was awarded this year.


Karl Adolph GjellerupDenmark“for his varied and rich poetry, which is inspired by lofty ideals”
Henrik PontoppidanDenmark“for his authentic descriptions of present-day life in Denmark”


Carl Gustaf Verner von HeidenstamSweden“in recognition of his significance as the leading representative of a new era in our literature”


Romain RollandFrance“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”


No Nobel Prize was awarded this year.


Rabindranath TagoreIndia“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”


Gerhart Johann Robert HauptmannGerman Empire“primarily in recognition of his fruitful, varied and outstanding production in the realm of dramatic art”


Count Maurice (Mooris) Polidore Marie Bernhard MaeterlinckBelgium“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”


Paul Johann Ludwig HeyseGerman Empire“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”


Selma Ottilia Lovisa LagerlöfSweden“in appreciation of the lofty idealism, vivid imagination and spiritual perception that characterize her writings”


Rudolf Christoph EuckenGerman Empire“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”


Rudyard KiplingUnited Kingdom“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”


Giosuè CarducciKingdom of 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”


Henryk SienkiewiczPoland“because of his outstanding merits as an epic writer”


Frédéric MistralFrance“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”
José Echegaray y EizaguirreSpain“in recognition of the numerous and brilliant compositions which, in an individual and original manner, have revived the great traditions of the Spanish drama”


Bjørnstjerne Martinus BjørnsonNorway“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”


Christian Matthias Theodor MommsenGerman Empire“the greatest living master of the art of historical writing, with special reference to his monumental work, A history of Rome


Sully PrudhommeFrance“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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