Celebrate International Women’s Day by becoming familiar with some of the women, from all over the world, who have been awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature for their work. If you haven’t already read these books they provide a timeless insight into the language and culture of women from all around the globe. Below we have listed the author and the language in which their work was originally published.
Svetlana Alexievich (2015) – Russian
For her polyphonic writings, a monument to suffering and courage in our time.
Alice Munro (2013) – English
Master of the contemporary short story.
Herta Müller (2009) – German
With the concentration of poetry and the frankness of prose, depicts the landscape of the dispossessed.
Doris Lessing (2007) – English
That epicist of the female experience, who with scepticism, fire and visionary power has subjected a divided civilisation to scrutiny.
Elfriede Jelinek (2004) – German
For her musical flow of voices and counter-voices in novels and plays that with extraordinary linguistic zeal reveal the absurdity of society’s clichés and their subjugating power.
Wislawa Szymborska (1996) – Polish
For poetry that with ironic precision allows the historical and biological context to come to light in fragments of human reality.
Toni Morrison (1993) – English
Who in novels characterized by visionary force and poetic import, gives life to an essential aspect of American reality.
Nadine Gordimer (1991) – English
Who through her magnificent epic writing has – in the words of Alfred Nobel – been of very great benefit to humanity.
Nelly Sachs (1966) – German
For her outstanding lyrical and dramatic writing, which interprets Israel’s destiny with touching strength.
Gabriela Mistral (1945) – Spanish
For her lyric poetry which, inspired by powerful emotions, has made her name a symbol of the idealistic aspirations of the entire Latin American world.
Pearl Buck (1938) – English
For her rich and truly epic descriptions of peasant life in China and for her biographical masterpieces.
Sigrid Undset (1928) – Norwegian
Principally for her powerful descriptions of Northern life during the Middle Ages.
Grazia Deledda (1926) – Italian
For her idealistically inspired writings which with plastic clarity picture the life on her native island and with depth and sympathy deal with human problems in general.
Selma Ottilia Lovisa Lagerlöf (1909) – Swedish
In appreciation of the lofty idealism, vivid imagination and spiritual perception that characterize her writings.
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