Published: Thu, October 10, 2019
Life&Culture | By Sue Mclaughlin

Nobel literature prizes to be awarded after 2018 scandal

Nobel literature prizes to be awarded after 2018 scandal

No Nobel Prize for Literature was given in 2018 because of a scandal over sexual misconduct allegations that has seen a string of board members resign from the board of the Swedish Academy.

He first came to public attention with his 1966 play Offending the Audience in which four actors discuss the nature of theatre for an hour, insulting and praising the audience alternately.

Olga Tokarczuk, the 15th woman to win the Nobel Literature Prize, has won the International Booker Prize in 2018.

Tokarczuk, considered the most talented Polish novelist of her generation, was honoured "for a narrative imagination that with encyclopaedic passion represents the crossing of boundaries as a form of life".

(L) Olga Tokarczuk. Photo via Facebook/@OlgaTokarczukProfil. The Nobel Foundation had warned another group could be picked to award the prize if the academy didn't improve its tarnished image.

Austrian author and playwright Peter Handke has been awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature for 2019, with 2018's postponed award going to Polish writer Olga Tokarczuk. The controversy erupted in late 2017 when news broke that French photographer Jean-Claude Arnault, the husband of a member of the academy, had been accused of multiple instances of sexual assault and harassment over a period of many years.

The naming of at least one woman literature laureate was widely expected after the Swedish Academy, which chooses the victor, was thrown into crisis in November 2017 after 18 women came forward with accusations of sexual assault against then-member Katarina Frostenson's husband.

"A lot of hard work remains, of that we are certain".

The Austrian author Peter Handke, who was awarded the Nobel Prize in literature 2019, was born in 1942 in Griffen village located in southern Austria's Karnten region.

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The members hold a vote in October to choose the victor, and the laureate must obtain more than half of the votes cast.

The crisis previous year revolved around a string of allegations against Jean-Claude Arnault, a leading cultural figure in Sweden and husband of Katarina Frostenson, who was an academy member until she stepped down in the wake of the scandal.

When asked whether the Swedish Academy really makes the decision, Olsson said "We are not ready yet to evaluate the process", and declined to elaborate on the internal line of work.

Other institutions in Sweden and Norway were given the task to find winners for the other Nobel Prizes.

Following a scandal past year, the Nobel Foundation that funds the Nobel Prizes insisted that five external people also join the Nobel Committee for at least 2019 and 2020.

Nobel fame this year comes with a 9-million kronor ($ 918,000) cash award, a gold medal and a diploma.

The laureates will receive them at an elegant ceremony in Stockholm on December 10 - the anniversary of Nobel's death in 1896 - together with five other Nobel winners. Arnault was also suspected of violating century-old Nobel rules by leaking names of winners of the prestigious award; allegedly seven times, starting in 1996.

Earlier in the week, the Nobel Prizes in Physiology or Medicine, Physics and Chemistry were awarded.

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