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Dance of life and death

On Sunday, July 13th 2014, Africa's Nobel Laureates in Literature balanced the eternal dance of life and death. On that day, Nigerian poet Wole Soyinka celebrated his 80th birthday with Presidents and paeans, even as South African author Nadine Gordimer passed away that night at age 90. Each, in their own way with words, took on the challenge of race and colour.
posted by infini on Jul 14, 2014 - 14 comments

Interview with Alice Munro

Alice Munro, awarded the 2013 Nobel Prize in Literature, was unable to travel to Stockholm due to her health, so the committee went to her. This is their 30 minute interview with the celebrated author. [more inside]
posted by Short Attention Sp on Dec 11, 2013 - 6 comments

Alice Munro has won the Nobel Prize in Literature

Alice Munro has won the Nobel Prize in Literature. Munro is praised by the Swedish Academy as a "master of the contemporary short story." You can read a long interview with her at the Paris Review website and read some of her short fiction at The New Yorker's website: Amundsen, Gravel, Face, Deep-Holes, Free Radicals, Dimension, Wenlock Edge, The View from Castle Rock, Passion, Runaway and The Bear Came Over the Mountain.
posted by Kattullus on Oct 10, 2013 - 81 comments

I want to do with you what spring does with the cherry trees.

Pablo Neruda (bio, pics, recordings) was a Chilean poet and Nobel Prize winner. His work comprises 48 books* (excluding posthumous publications), the most famous of which remain Twenty Love Poems and a Song of Despair (scribd, alt) (Spanish, alt) and Canto General (Spanish). Documentary. [more inside]
posted by ersatz on Mar 1, 2013 - 13 comments

Nobel Prize Library

We introduced UNZ.org before but it's probably worth revisiting for a vein of gold, the Nobel Prize Library (1971), which contains full modern translations of significant works of 20th century literature. For example [more inside]
posted by stbalbach on Jan 5, 2013 - 4 comments

The 2012 Nobel Laureate in Literature Is Chinese Novelist Mo Yan

Mo Yan has been awarded the 2012 Nobel Prize in Literature. A Chinese novelist, born as Guan Moye, his pen name means "don't speak." His most famous novel, Red Sorghum: A Novel of China, was turned into an acclaimed film in 1987. Here are some interviews with Mo Yan: Granta, National Endowment for the Humanities and Paper Republic. Speculation was rife in China before the announcement whether Mo Yan would receive it, and the matter was controversial. For people who haven't read any books by Mo Yan, the Swedish Academy recommends Garlic Ballads [NYT]. For more news over the day, keep an eye on The Literary Saloon and The Guardian's liveblog.
posted by Kattullus on Oct 11, 2012 - 24 comments

"Once there was a shock that left behind a long, shimmering comet tail."

Swedish poet Tomas Tranströmer has been awarded the 2011 Nobel Prize in Literature. His poetry has been translated into more than five dozen languages and is the living poet who has been translated most into English. He received the Griffin Poetry Prize in 2007, and the award page is a pretty extensive source of information. Below the cut I'll include a few of his poems that I've found online, but the best place to start is the poetry section of his website, where you'll also find an interview, video, audio and a list of English translations. Tom Slegh wrote an appreciation of Tranströmer and Mary Karr and Christopher Robinson discuss him briefly on Poetry Fix, and read two of his poems. [more inside]
posted by Kattullus on Oct 6, 2011 - 52 comments

Malignant Narcissism Or Middle-Aged White Dudes Constantly Boning Down?

An American writer hasn't won the Nobel Prize for Literature since 1993 (Toni Morrison). Slate's Alexander Nazaryan tells us why: "The rising generation of writers behind Oates, Roth and DeLillo are dominated by Great Male Narcissists — even the writers who aren’t male (or white)."
posted by bardic on Oct 4, 2011 - 121 comments

In praise of reading and fiction

Fiction is more than an entertainment, more than an intellectual exercise that sharpens one’s sensibility and awakens a critical spirit. It is an absolute necessity so that civilization continues to exist, renewing and preserving in us the best of what is human. [PDF] [more inside]
posted by Omon Ra on Dec 7, 2010 - 9 comments

for his cartography of structures of power and his trenchant images of the individual's resistance, revolt and defeat

Mario Vargas Llosa wrote poems when he was young. His father famously responded by sending the boy to military school—where he spent two ghastly years, gathering inspiration for his first novel—La Ciudad y Los Perros, published in English as The Time of the Hero. The military burned a thousand copies of the book and Vargas Llosa's infamy was secured.
Mario Vargas Llosa, who once ran for president of Peru and once punched Gabriel Garcia Márquez in the face, has won the Nobel Prize in Literature, meaning Ladbrokes dodged a bullet. [more inside]
posted by gerryblog on Oct 7, 2010 - 34 comments

Herta Müller is the 2009 Nobel Laureate in Literature

This year's Nobel Laureate in Literature is Romanian born author Herta Müller, who writes in German, as predicted yesterday by M. A. Orthofer of The Complete Review and Literary Saloon. Here's an interview with Herta Müller and a short bio.
posted by Kattullus on Oct 8, 2009 - 38 comments

Jean-Marie Gustave Le Clézio Receives Nobel Prize in Literature

The Nobel Prize in Literature goes to French novelist Jean-Marie Gustave Le Clézio. Here's an old interview, a short video interview (in French) and a short story (in English).
posted by Kattullus on Oct 9, 2008 - 34 comments

flacid

"There is powerful literature in all big cultures, but you can't get away from the fact that Europe still is the centre of the literary world... not the United States," he said. "The US is too isolated, too insular. They don't translate enough and don't really participate in the big dialogue of literature... That ignorance is restraining."

Nobel literature prize judge Horace Engdahl comes down hard against Don DeLillo, David Foster Wallace, and other crazy American shit that just can't cross the waters.
posted by plexi on Oct 6, 2008 - 124 comments

once described himself as 'a fourth- or fifth-rate writer,'

"Life is wise to deceive us," he once wrote, "for had it told us from the start what it had in store for us, we would refuse to be born." --Naguib Mahfouz, RIP --and more from when he won the Nobel in 1988
posted by amberglow on Aug 30, 2006 - 20 comments

Pinter who?

It's Pinter. The Nobel Prize in Literature is awarded to the English writer Harold Pinter, “who in his plays uncovers the precipice under everyday prattle and forces entry into oppression’s closed rooms”.
posted by Termite on Oct 13, 2005 - 34 comments

Congratulations to Austria

The Nobel Prize in Literature 2004: Elfriede Jelinek, probably best known for the story behind Michael Haneke's La Pianiste.
posted by mr.marx on Oct 7, 2004 - 22 comments

Czeslaw Milosz

Czeslaw Milosz (1911-2004) - one of the greatest poets of the 20th century - passed away on Saturday in Krackow, Poland. I want to remember him here with this: "Conversation with Jeanne"
posted by lilboo on Aug 16, 2004 - 8 comments

He and His Man

J.M. Coetzee's Nobel Speech. It seemed to him, coming from his island, where until Friday arrived he lived a silent life, that there was too much speech in the world. Coetzee, winner of the Nobel Prize in Literature, delivers his lecture from the perspective of Robinson Crusoe.
posted by _sirmissalot_ on Dec 9, 2003 - 8 comments

Nobel Prize in Literature

The Nobel Prize for Literature will be announced on Thursday. Two candidates with buzz this year are Syrian poet Ali Ahmad Said, better known as Adonis, and New Zealand novelist-memoirist Janet Frame. Other candidates frequently mentioned include JM Coetzee, Philip Roth, Inger Christensen, Tomas Transtroemer, Margaret Atwood and Carlos Fuentes.
posted by Daze on Sep 30, 2003 - 20 comments

Nobel Price for Literature

The acceptance speech of Nobel Price winner for literature Imre Kertesz
posted by semmi on Dec 10, 2002 - 30 comments

Nobel Prize for Literature.

Nobel Prize for Literature. We've got a winner. Imre Kertesz from Hungary. Ever heard of him?
posted by ushuaia on Oct 10, 2002 - 16 comments

And the Winner Is ...

And the Winner Is ... Tomorrow the Nobel Foundation will announce its 2002 award for literature. Anyone have a particular author they'd like to see get the gold?
posted by risenc on Oct 9, 2002 - 91 comments

Finally the Nobel Prize For Literature Gets It Right

Finally the Nobel Prize For Literature Gets It Right Jorge Luis Borges didn't get it. Neither did Marcel Proust. But today V.S.Naipaul, arguably the best writer in the English language since Samuel Beckett died, was awarded the Nobel Prize. Doesn't this just show it helps not to be English(e.g. Irish, American, Indian or Trinidadian)to be able to write dry and timeless prose such as Sir Vidia's?
posted by MiguelCardoso on Oct 11, 2001 - 29 comments

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