Nobel Prize Laureate: Elfriede Jelinek

 

“The Piano Teacher” – a novel of lust and domination written in the biting style that, in the Swedish Academy’s description, reveals “the absurdity of society’s clichés and their subjugating power” – was No. 1,163,804 on Amazon.com’s sales rankings early Thursday, according to The Associated Press. By Friday, it had climbed to No. 9.

Oh, what a Nobel  Prize will do to your sales!

Austrian novelist and playwright Elfriede Jelinek was awarded the 2004 Nobel Prize for Literature.

Continue reading

Nadine Gordimer

I am told that one of the criteria for the Nobel Prize in Literature, apart from the quality of the means of expression, is that that the works of the writer should be of  “benefit to mankind”. (Nadine Gordimer in When Art Meets Politics). 

Thirteen novels. Over two hundred short stories. Several volumes of essays. Awarded fifteen honorary doctorates. Booker Prize winner in 1974 for The Conservationist.

 Nobel Prize recipient in 1991.

Nobel Diploma

Born in South Africa, Nadine Gordimer devoted most of her writing career to benefit mankind through her anti-apartheid writings. In one of her early essays in Telling Times Gordimer defines apartheid from both white and black perspectives.

Continue reading

Grazia Deledda

 The Nobel Prize in Literature 1926

Grazia Deledda wrote over thirty novels, four hundred short stories, a play, an opera-libretto, some poems and translated Balzac’s Eugénie Grandet into Italian in 1930.

[Deledda] belongs to more than just her own day. She does more than reproduce the temporary psychological condition of her period. She has a background, and she deals with something more fundamental than sophisticated feeling . . . what she does do is create the passionate complex of a primitive populace. –D.H. Lawrence

Although Grazia Deledda spent most of her adult life in Rome, much of her writing is set in Sardinia, where she was born.

Continue reading

Alice Munro

Peter J. Thompson/National Post file photo http://www.knjiznica-delnice.com/knjige_alice.html

Every publisher I had ever met had assured me that I would have to grow up and write novels before I could be taken seriously as a writer. The result of this was that I wasted much time and effort trying to turn myself into a novelist, and had become so depressed that I was unable to write at all.

 The first book I read by Alice Munro was Something I’ve Been Meaning to Tell You. 

05-03-2014 04;04;14PM

 After that I was hooked and read everything of hers. She  was my biggest literary fan.

Continue reading

Wislawa Szymborska

 Simply because April is National Poetry Month

 Possibilities

I prefer movies.

I prefer cats.

I prefer the oaks along the Warta.

I prefer Dickens to Dostoyevsky.

I prefer myself liking people

to myself loving mankind.

File:Wislawa Szymborska Cracow Poland October23 2009 Fot Mariusz Kubik 08.jpg

Photographer: Mariusz Kubik

I prefer keeping a needle and thread on hand, just in case.

I prefer the color green.

I prefer not to maintain that reason is to blame for everything.

I prefer exceptions.

I prefer to leave early.

Continue reading

Doris Lessing

When I was at university I fell in love with my English professor.

He was teaching The Twentieth Century novel, in particular the novels of D.H. Lawrence.

My classes were in the morning and in the afternoon I would lie on my bed in the dorm and read Sons and Lovers, The Rainbow and Women in Love.

Product DetailsProduct DetailsProduct Details

My room-mates, who were studying the sciences would pass by and ask me what I was doing.

“Studying,” I would say.

In reality I was dreaming of love. Continue reading

Sigrid Undset

Flag of Norway.svgIf you followed the Sochi Olympics you probably know that Norway was overrepresented in so far as winning medals go. They came in third place with 26 medals, 11 gold. Not bad for a country with a population of a little over 5 million people.

But the Norwegians need not only be proud of their athletes but also of their Nobel Laureates for Literature. Three in all. One woman: Sigrid Undset.

Born the same year as Virginia Woolf and James Joyce (1882)  Sigrid Undset, at the age of 25,  made her literary debut with a short, realistic novel on adultery. It created a stir, and she found herself ranked as a promising young author in Norway. Its English translation is out this month (March 2014). 

“I have been unfaithful to my husband” is the novel’s opening sentence. Written in diary form the novel documents the inner life of a young woman disappointed by the conventions of marriage and longing for passion. Continue reading