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THEMATIC LIBRARY COLLECTIONS

SELECTED NOBEL PRIZES IN LITERATURE

Awarded Year Laureates Biography Library Collections
2000

Gao Xingjian

( 高行健)

 

Born January 4, 1940, Ganzhou, Jiangxi province, China, Chinese émigré novelist, playwright, and critic who in 2000 was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature “for an oeuvre of universal validity, bitter insights and linguistic ingenuity.” He was also renowned as a stage director and as an artist.

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2012

Mo Yan

(莫言)

Born March 5, 1955, Gaomi, Shandong province, China. Chinese novelist and short-story writer renowned for his imaginative and humanistic fiction, which became popular in the 1980s. Mo was awarded the 2012 Nobel Prize in Literature.

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2013

Alice Munro

 

Original name Alice Ann Laidlaw, (born July 10, 1931, Wingham, Ontario, Canada), Canadian short-story writer who gained international recognition with her exquisitely drawn narratives. The Swedish Academy dubbed her a “master of the contemporary short story” when it awarded her the Nobel Prize for Literature in 2013. Munro’s work was noted for its precise imagery and narrative style, which is at once lyrical, compelling, economical, and intense, revealing the depth and complexities in the emotional lives of everyday people.

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2014

Patrick Modiano

 

Born July 30, 1945, Boulogne-Billancourt, France), French writer who in more than 40 books used his fascination with the human experience of World War II to examine individual and collective identities, responsibilities, loyalties, memory, and loss. In 2014 he became the 15th Frenchman to receive the Nobel Prize for Literature. Upon announcing the prizewinner, the Swedish Academy cited “the art of memory with which he has evoked the most ungraspable human destinies and uncovered the life-world of the occupation.”

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2015

Svetlana Aleksievich

 

Born May 31, 1948, Stanislav, Ukraine, U.S.S.R. Belarusian journalist and prose writer, a Russian-language author of meticulously crafted works of depth and introspection that provided a compelling and uncompromising portrayal of the social and political upheaval within the Soviet Union from the postwar era to the fall of communism. She won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 2015. One of a minority of laureates recognized as a dedicated writer of nonfiction, Alexievich devised a hybrid literary genre that evolved as “the closest possible approximation to real life,” wherein human voices were allowed to speak for themselves about the main events of the age. Her body of work constituted “a living history” of Soviet and post-Soviet culture that provoked controversy and official repudiation. Alexievich was cited by the Swedish Academy “for her polyphonic writings, a monument to suffering and courage in our time.”

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2017

Kazuo Ishiguro

(石黑一雄)

 

Born November 8, 1954, Nagasaki, Japan, Japanese-born British novelist known for his lyrical tales of regret fused with subtle optimism. In 2017 he won the Nobel Prize for Literature for his works that “uncovered the abyss beneath our illusory sense of connection with the world.”

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(Source of biography: Britannica Academic Database)