Tanzania’s Abdulrazak Gurnah Gets Nobel For ‘Uncompromising Penetration In Effects Of Colonialism’

New Delhi: The 2021 Nobel Prize in Literature has been awarded to the novelist Abdulrazak Gurnah “for his uncompromising and compassionate penetration of the effects of colonialism and the fate of the refugee in the gulf between cultures and continents.”

Permanent Secretary of the Swedish Academy, Mats Malm, announced the winners of the 2021 Nobel Prize in Literature on October 7, at 13:00 CEST (October 7, 4:30 pm IST).

The Nobel Prize in Literature is awarded each year by the Swedish Academy, Stockholm, Sweden.

The 2020 Nobel Prize in Literature was awarded to Louise Glück “for her unmistakable poetic voice that with austere beauty makes individual existence universal.”

History Of Nobel Prize In Literature

Alfred Nobel started writing fiction during the last years of his life. On November 27, 1985, he signed his last will and testament. Literature was the fourth prize area Nobel mentioned in his will. The prize was dedicated to “the person who shall have produced in the field of literature the most outstanding work in an ideal direction”. 

Between 1901 and 2020, the Nobel Prize in Literature has been awarded 113 times to 117 laureates. A total of 16 women have been awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature. 

At 41 years of age, Rudyard Kipling was the youngest recipient of the Nobel Prize in literature. He was awarded the prize in 1907. 

Doris Lessing was the oldest laureate to receive the Nobel Prize in Literature, at 88. She was awarded the prize in 2007.

Swedish author Selma Lagerlöf was the first woman to be awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature. 

India’s Rabindranath Tagore was awarded the 1913 Nobel Prize in Literature “for his sensitive, fresh and beautiful poetry”. He went on to become the first non-European literature laureate. 

Ernest Hemingway was awarded the 1954 Nobel Prize in Literature “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”. 

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Selection Procedure For Nobel Prize In Literature

Ellen Matson, a member of the Swedish Academy and also of the Nobel Committee, explains the process of choosing a Nobel Prize laureate in literature, in a video released by the Nobel Prize Organisation. 

She says there is a system for the nomination process, and people all over the world, including scholars, critics, spokespersons for literary organisations, other academies, and previous Nobel laureates, and of course, the members of the Swedish Academy are entitled to nominate. She says that anyone who writes excellent, outstanding literature can be nominated. 

Literary quality is the criteria for choosing the winner, who must have “a divine spark”, she said. 

Talking about how the laureates find out they have been awarded the Nobel Prize, she said that the Permanent Secretary goes out to make a phone call after the decision is made. The call is made by telephone.

Due to the pandemic, the Nobel celebrations this year have been a combination of virtual and physical events. The Nobel Prize medals and the Nobel Prize diploma will be received by the laureates in their home countries in December, according to the Nobel Prize Organisation. Each laureate will also be awarded with an amount of 10 million Swedish krona.

The announcement is streamed live on the official digital channels of the Nobel Prize.

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