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Facts about the Nobel Prize for Literature Medal

Masters of Literature Without A Nobel

Leo Tolstoy | James Joyce | Marcel Proust | Virginia Woolf | Mark Twain | Henry James | Henrik Ibsen | Gertrude Stein | D. H. Lawrence | Robert  Frost  Four time winner of The Pulitzer Prize for Poetry: 1943, 1937, 1931, 1924!

English Language Nobel Laureates Literature

Years Without a Nobel Prize in Literature

1943 | 1942 | 1941 | 1940 | 1935 | 1918 | 1914

Youngest Nobel Literature Laureate

Rudyard Kipling, 1907, at age forty-two

Oldest Winner of the Nobel Prize for Literature

Christian Matthias Theodor Mommsen, 1902, age eighty-four (his birthday - November 30th was after the Nobel for Literature was announced)

The three African winners of the Nobel Prize for Literature, Wole Soyinka, Nadine Gordimer and Naguib Mahfouz, are Patrons of The Caine Prize for African Writing

Nobel Prize Refusals

1964 Jean-Paul Sartre France, honored for Fiction, Drama and Philosophy.  (1905-1980) French - The only honoree to turn down the prize voluntarily.  Sartre refused the Nobel Prize for literature on the grounds that such honors could interfere with a writer's responsibilities to his readers.

1958 Boris Pasternak USSR, Poetry and Fiction (1890-1960) Russian - Pasternak was forced by the Soviet Government to refuse The Nobel for Literature Award.

Years the Nobel Prize for Literature was Shared

1974 (shared) Eyvind Johnson Sweden, Fiction (1900-1976) Swedish Works of Eyvind Johnson  and   Harry Edmund Martinson Sweden, Fiction and Poetry (1904-1978) Swedish  Writings of Harry Martinson

1966 Samuel Joseph Agnon (Shmuel Czaczkes) Israel, Fiction (1888-1970)  - Hebrew  Agnon has been incorrectly reported as one who refused the prize.  Acceptance Speech and Nelly Sachs Germany-Sweden, Poetry (1891-1970) German

1917 Karl Gjellerup Denmark, Poetry (1857-1919) Danish and  Henrik Pontoppidan Denmark, Fiction (1857-1943) Danish

1904 Frédéric Mistral France, Poetry (1830-1914) Spanish  and  José Echegary y Eizaguirre Spain, Drama (1832-1916) Spanish

Women Chosen for The Nobel Prize in Literature

Wislawa Szymborska Poland 1996

Toni Morrison USA 1993

Nadine Gordimer South Africa 1991

Nelly Sachs Germany Sweden 1966

Gabriela Mistral Chile 1945

Pearl S. Buck  USA  1938

Sigrid Undset Norway 1928

Grazia Deledda Italy 1926

Selma Lagerlöf Sweden 1909

As a nation, France claims the highest number of Literature Laureates with 12.  The Laureates' nations are determined by where most of their work was done, not by country of birth, education or residence.

Just a sampling, read more in The Nobel Prize : A History of Genius, Controversy and Prestige | Hardcover Burton Feldman.  The book is superb!

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