Nobel Prize in Literature

Nobel Prize in Literature
(Swedish: Nobelpriset i litteratur)
Nobel2008Literature news conference1.jpg
Announcement of the Nobel Prize laureate in literature, 2008
Awarded forOutstanding contributions in literature
LocationStockholm, Sweden
Presented bySwedish Academy
Reward(s)9 million SEK (2017)[1]
First awarded1901
Currently held byOlga Tokarczuk (2018),

The Nobel Prize in Literature is a Swedish literature prize that is awarded annually, since 1901, to an author from any country who has, in the words of the will of Swedish industrialist Alfred Nobel, produced "in the field of literature the most outstanding work in an ideal direction" (original Swedish: den som inom litteraturen har producerat det mest framstående verket i en idealisk riktning).[2][3] Though individual works are sometimes cited as being particularly noteworthy, the award is based on an author's body of work as a whole. The Swedish Academy decides who, if anyone, will receive the prize. The academy announces the name of the laureate in early October. It is one of the five Nobel Prizes established by the will of Alfred Nobel in 1895. On some occasions the award has been postponed to the following year, most recently in 2018.[4][5][6]


In 1901, French poet and essayist Sully Prudhomme (1839–1907) was the first person to be awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature, "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."

Alfred Nobel stipulated in his last will and testament that his money be used to create a series of prizes for those who confer the "greatest benefit on mankind" in physics, chemistry, peace, physiology or medicine, and literature.[7][8] Though Nobel wrote several wills during his lifetime, the last was written a little over a year before he died, and signed at the Swedish-Norwegian Club in Paris on 27 November 1895.[9][10] Nobel bequeathed 94% of his total assets, 31 million Swedish kronor (US$198 million, 176 million in 2016), to establish and endow the five Nobel Prizes.[11] Due to the level of scepticism surrounding the will, it was not until 26 April 1897 that the Storting (Norwegian Parliament) approved it.[12][13] The executors of his will were Ragnar Sohlman and Rudolf Lilljequist, who formed the Nobel Foundation to take care of Nobel's fortune and organize the prizes.

The members of the Norwegian Nobel Committee that were to award the Peace Prize were appointed shortly after the will was approved. The prize-awarding organisations followed: the Karolinska Institutet on 7 June, the Swedish Academy on 9 June, and the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences on 11 June.[14][15] The Nobel Foundation then reached an agreement on guidelines for how the Nobel Prize should be awarded. In 1900, the Nobel Foundation's newly created statutes were promulgated by King Oscar II.[13][16][17] According to Nobel's will, the prize in literature should be determined by “the Academy in Stockholm”, which was specified by the statutes of the Nobel Foundation to mean the Swedish Academy.[18]

Other Languages
беларуская (тарашкевіца)‎: Нобэлеўская прэмія ў галіне літаратуры
한국어: 노벨 문학상
Lëtzebuergesch: Nobelpräis fir Literatur
Mìng-dĕ̤ng-ngṳ̄: Nobel Ùng-hŏk Ciōng
srpskohrvatski / српскохрватски: Nobelova nagrada za književnost
Tiếng Việt: Giải Nobel Văn học