Norwegian author Jon Fosse awarded Nobel prize in literature

The Nobel prize in literature has been awarded to Norwegian author Jon Fosse for “his innovative plays and prose, which give voice to the unsayable”, according to the Swedish Academy.

Mats Malm, permanent secretary of the academy, announced the prize on Thursday in Stockholm.

The Nobel Prizes carry a cash award of 11 million Swedish kronor ($1.6 million) from a bequest left by their creator, Swedish inventor Alfred Nobel.

Winners also receive an 18-carat gold medal and diploma at the award ceremonies in December.

The new laureate joins an illustrious list of past winners that ranges from Toni Morrison to Ernest Hemingway and Jean-Paul Sartre, who turned down the prize in 1964.

Last year, French author Annie Ernaux won the prize for what the prize-giving Swedish Academy called “the courage and clinical acuity” of books rooted in her small-town background in the Normandy region of north-west France.

Ernaux was just the 17th woman among the 119 Nobel literature laureates.

The literature prize has long faced criticism that it is too focused on European and North American writers, as well as too male-dominated.

In 2018, the award was postponed after sex abuse allegations rocked the Swedish Academy, which names the Nobel Literature Committee, and sparked an exodus of members.

The academy revamped itself but faced more criticism for giving the 2019 award to Austria’s Peter Handke, who has been called an apologist for Serbian war crimes.

On Wednesday, the chemistry prize was awarded to Moungi Bawendi of MIT, Louis Brus of Columbia University, and Alexei Ekimov of Nanocrystals Technology.

They were honoured for their work with tiny particles called quantum dots, which can release very bright-coloured light and whose applications in everyday life include electronics and medical imaging.

Earlier this week, Hungarian-American Katalin Karikó and American Drew Weissman won the Nobel prize in medicine on Monday for discoveries that enabled the creation of mRNA vaccines against COVID-19.

On Tuesday, the physics prize went to French-Swedish physicist Anne L’Huillier, French scientist Pierre Agostini and Hungarian-born Ferenc Krausz for producing the first split-second glimpse into the super-fast world of spinning electrons.

The Nobel peace prize is awarded on Friday and the Nobel memorial prize in economic sciences ends the awards season on Monday.


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