Few people know that Alfred Nobel was actually a lover of literature. His library consisted of a rich and broad selection of literature in different languages. During the last years of his life, he even tried his hand as an author and began writing fiction. The Nobel Prize in Literature is one of five Nobel Prizes established according to Nobel’s will in 1895. The prize aims to reward the author who has produced in the field of literature the most outstanding work in an ideal direction.
The Nobel Prize in Literature is selected and awarded once a year, and the Swedish Academy awards a gold medal, a certificate and a bonus to the winner. The award ceremony is held each year on December 10th, the anniversary of Nobel’s death, at the Stockholm Concert Hall in Sweden; the award is presented by the King of Sweden himself. From 1901 to 2022, the Nobel Prize in Literature has been awarded 115 times to 119 authors.
The nomination process for Nobel Prize laureates in literature
The Nobel Prize in Literature for 2022 was awarded to the French author Annie Ernaux “for the courage and clinical acuity with which she uncovers the roots, estrangements and collective restraints of personal memory”.
Annie Ernaux’s masterpiece The Years has a time span of six decades. It’s a new kind of autobiography, with time itself narrating its own course. The book reflects the evolution of the times with people’s shared experiences, and writes the collective memory of several generations of French people. The book covers everything from history to food, clothing, and family gatherings, all of which are concise and vivid.
Works of Annie Ernaux
Annie Ernaux’s ‘thank you’ speech at the Nobel Prize banquet, December 10, 2022
The Booker Prize is considered the highest award in contemporary English-language fiction and one of the most influential literary prizes in the world. It has been awarded since 1969 and is given once a year. Generally, Booker Prize judges have tended to be book critics, scholars, novelists, literary editors, and cultural celebrities.
The Booker Prize was announced in London on October 17 this year, and Sri Lankan author Shehan Karunatilaka won the award for his novel The Seven Moons of Maali Almeida. In the book, the author reflects on the civil war that took place in his country’s history through the character of a photographer and a combination of reality and fantasy. The judges praised the work as “a rollercoaster ride of fate” with “the ambition of its scope and the hilarious audacity of its narrative techniques”.
The well-known books The English Patient, Schindler’s List, and the Life of Pihave all been Booker Prize-winning works.
The Booker Prize Winners of 2011-2022
The Goncourt Prize is a French literary prize designed to honour French writers. It is the most prestigious of the six major French literary prizes and is awarded each year in November.
The Prize was established in 1892 according to the will of the French writer Edmond de Goncourt, who bequeathed his estate for the foundation of the Académie Goncourty, the Selection Committee for the Goncourt Prize. Goncourt appointed 10 writer friends, including Flaubert, Zola and Daudet, as the first academicians. The first Goncourt Prize was awarded on December 21, 1903.
This year’s Goncourt Prize was announced on November 3. The French writer Brigitte Giraud won the prize for her book Vivre vite. In her book, Brigitte tells a tragic story based on her own experience: on June 22, 1999, her husband, Claude, died in a motorcycle accident. Throughout the novel, Brigitte recalls the events leading up to and following the accident with a myriad of ‘what ifs’.
In addition to the three major literary awards described above, there are also such awards as The Georg Büchner Prize (Germany), The International Dublin Literary Award (Ireland), The Miguel de Cervantes Prize (Spain), the Franz Kafka Prize (Czech).
The history of European literature is long and illustrious, with numerous great writers and masterpieces emerging. The 2nd Floor Learning Resource Center (LRC) has a collection of many excellent works of European literature, waiting for teachers and students to start their own European literary exploration journey!