Nobel Literature Prize Laureates

The Swedish Academy has awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature annually (with a few exceptions) since 1901. Find out how many laureates you can recall/guess.
The Prize was not awarded in 1914, 1918, 1935, and 1940–43.
The Prize was shared between two authors in 1904, 1917, 1966, and 1974.
Two laureates declined the Prize, but are nevertheless listed (1958, 1964).
Quiz by ToilAndTrouble
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Last updated: February 5, 2013
First submittedFebruary 5, 2013
Times taken1,772
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Hint
Answer
 
1901
Sully Prudhomme
France (poet, essayist)
1902
Theodor Mommsen
Germany (historian, legal scholar)
1903
Bjørnstjerne Bjørnson
Norway (poet, novelist, dramatist, author of lyrics of Norwegian national anthem
1904
Frédéric Mistral
France (Occitan)
1904
José Echegaray
Spain (dramatist)
1905
Henryk Sienkiewicz
Poland (Russian Empire) (epic novelist)
1906
Giosuè Carducci
Italy (poet)
1907
Rudyard Kipling
United Kingdom (novelist, poet, short story writer born in Bombay)
1908
Rudolf Christoph Eucken
Germany (philosopher)
1909
Selma Lagerlöf
Sweden (novelist, short story writer remebered for her children's story about Nils Holgersson)
1910
Paul von Heyse
Germany (poet, dramatist, novelist, short story writer)
1911
Maurice Maeterlinck
Belgium (symbolist dramatist, poet, essayist)
1912
Gerhart Hauptmann
Germany (dramatist, novelist)
1913
Rabindranath Tagore
India (Bengali poet, novelist, dramatist, short story writer, composer)
1915
Romain Rolland
France (novelist)
1916
Verner von Heidenstam
Sweden (poet, novelist)
1917
Karl Adolph Gjellerup
Denmark (poet)
1917
Henrik Pontoppidan
Denmark (novelist)
1919
Carl Spitteler
Switzerland (German-language epic poet)
1920
Knut Hamsun
Norway (epic novelist)
1921
Anatole France
France (poet, novelist)
1922
Jacinto Benavente
Spain (dramatist)
1923
William Butler Yeats
Ireland (poet)
1924
Władysław Reymont
Poland (epic novelist)
1925
George Bernard Shaw
Ireland (dramatist, novelist, essayist, literary critic, political activist)
1926
Grazia Deledda
Italy (poet, novelist)
1927
Henri Bergson
France (philosopher known for the concept of élan vital, or the life force)
1928
Sigrid Undset
Norway (novelist)
1929
Thomas Mann
Germany (novelist, essayist, short story writer; in recognition of "Buddenbrooks")
1930
Sinclair Lewis
United Staes (novelist, dramatist, short story writer)
1931
Erik Axel Karlfeldt
Sweden (poetry)
1932
John Galsworthy
United Kingdom (novelist, in recognition of "The Forsyte Saga")
1933
Ivan Bunin
Russia (exiled in France; novelist, poet, short story writer)
1934
Luigi Pirandello
Italy (dramatist, novelist, short story writer who tore up his Fascist membership card)
1936
Eugene O'Neill
United States (realist dramatist)
1937
Roger Martin du Gard
France (novelist)
1938
Pearl S. Buck
United States (novelist; in recognition of her works on life in China)
1939
Frans Eemil Sillanpää
Finland (novelist)
1944
Johannes Vilhelm Jensen
Denmark (modernist poet)
1945
Gabriela Mistral
Chile (poet, diplomat)
1946
Hermann Hesse
Germany (exiled to Switzerland; novelist, poet)
1947
André Gide
France (novelist, essayist who famously repudiated his communist beliefs after visiting the Soviet Union)
1948
T. S. Eliot
United Kingdom (US-born modernist poet)
1949
William Faulkner
United States (modernist novelist, short story writer, essayist from Mississippi)
1950
Bertrand Russell
United Kingdom (philosopher, essayist, political activist, founder of analytic philosophy)
1951
Pär Lagerkvist
Sweden (poet, novelist, short story writer, dramatist)
1952
François Mauriac
France (novelist, short story writer)
1953
Winston Churchill
United Kingdom (historian, essayist, memoirist, orator, politician)
1954
Ernest Hemingway
United States (modernist novelist, short story writer)
1955
Halldór Laxness
Iceland (poet, novelist, short story writer, dramatist)
1956
Juan Ramón Jiménez
Spain (poet)
1957
Albert Camus
France (novelist, dramatist, short story writer, essayist, philosopher; first African-born laureate)
1958
Boris Pasternak
Soviet Union, declined prize (novelist, poet, translator)
1959
Salvatore Quasimodo
Italy (poet)
1960
Saint-John Perse
France (poet)
Hint
Answer
 
1961
Ivo Andrić
Yugoslavia (novelist, short story writer)
1962
John Steinbeck
United States (realist novelist and short story writer)
1963
Giorgos Seferis
Greece (poet; Greek ambassador to the UK 1957–62)
1964
Jean-Paul Sartre
France, declined prize (novelist, philosopher, dramatist, essayist, literary critic, political activist)
1965
Mikhail Sholokhov
Soviet Union (epic novelist, in recognition of "And Quiet Flows the Don")
1966
Shmuel Yosef Agnon
Israel (novelist, short story writer)
1966
Nelly Sachs
Germany (exiled in Sweden; poet, dramatist)
1967
Miguel Ángel Asturias
Guatemala (novelist, poet)
1968
Yasunari Kawabata
Japan (novelist, short story writer)
1969
Samuel Beckett
Ireland (absurdist and minimalist dramatist, novelist, poet)
1970
Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn
Soviet Union (novelist, dissident activist who was expelled from the USSR in 1974)
1971
Pablo Neruda
Chile (poet who adopted the name of a Czech poet as his pen name)
1972
Heinrich Böll
Germany (novelist, short story writer highly critical of West German society)
1973
Patrick White
Australia (novelist, dramatist, short story writer)
1974
Eyvind Johnson
Sweden (novelist; was on the Nobel panel himself)
1974
Harry Martinson
Sweden (novelist, poet, dramatist; was on the Nobel panel himself)
1975
Eugenio Montale
Italy (poet)
1976
Saul Bellow
United States (born in Canada, novelist, short story writer)
1977
Vicente Aleixandre
Spain (poet)
1978
Isaac Bashevis Singer
United States (Yiddish) (novelist, short story writer, memoirist of Polish-Jewish origin)
1979
Odysseas Elytis
Greece (poet)
1980
Czesław Miłosz
United States (emigrated from Poland) (poet, essayist)
1981
Elias Canetti
Bulgaria (emigrated to UK, wrote in German) (novelist, dramatist, memoirist, essayist)
1982
Gabriel García Márquez
Colombia (novelist, short story writer, proponent of Magic Realism)
1983
William Golding
United Kingdom (novelist, poet, dramatist best remebered for "Lord of the Flies")
1984
Jaroslav Seifert
Czechoslovakia (Czech poet)
1985
Claude Simon
France (novelist)
1986
Wole Soyinka
Nigeria (dramatist, novelist, poet)
1987
Joseph Brodsky
United States (expelled from the USSR) (poet)
1988
Naguib Mahfouz
Egypt (novelist)
1989
Camilo José Cela
Spain (novelist, short story writer)
1990
Octavio Paz
Mexico (poet, essayist)
1991
Nadine Gordimer
South Africa (novelist, short story writer, essayist, anti-Apartheid activist)
1992
Derek Walcott
Saint Lucia (poet)
1993
Toni Morrison
United States (novelist)
1994
Kenzaburō Ōe
Japan (novelist, short story writer)
1995
Seamus Heaney
Ireland (poet)
1996
Wisława Szymborska
Poland (poet, essayist, translator)
1997
Dario Fo
Italy (dramatist influenced by the commedia dell'arte tradition)
1998
José Saramago
Portugal (novelist, dramatist, poet; moved from Portugal to the Canaries in protest)
1999
Günter Grass
Germany (novelist, dramatist, poet; born in the Free City of Danzig)
2000
Gao Xingjiang
China (emigrated to France) (novelist, dramatist, literary critic)
2001
V. S. Naipaul
Trinidad & Tobago / UK (novelist, essayist)
2002
Imre Kertész
Hungary (novelist; Holocaust survivor)
2003
J. M. Coetzee
South Africa (emigrated to Australia) (novelist, essayist, translator; anti-Apartheid activist also known for his animal rights work)
2004
Elfriede Jelinek
Austria (feminist novelist, dramatist)
2005
Harold Pinter
United Kingdom (dramatist)
2006
Orhan Pamuk
Turkey (novelist, essayist)
2007
Doris Lessing
United Kingdom (novelist, poet, short story writer, essayist, dramatist, memoirist; born in Tehran 1919)
2008
J. M. G. Le Clézio
France / Mauritus (novelist, short story writer, essayist, translator)
2009
Herta Müller
Germany (emigrated from Romania, writes in German) (novel, poet)
2010
Mario Vargas Llosa
Peru (lives in Spain) (novelist, short story writer, dramatist, essayist, political activist; ran for President of Peru)
2011
Tomas Tranströmer
Sweden (poet)
2012
Mo Yan
China (novelist, short story writer)
+1
Level 83
Feb 4, 2013
Well, gee, this was tough. Maybe another clue column would be in order... say with their nationality, or with a book title?
+1
Level 17
Feb 5, 2013
Thanks for your comment. You're right, this is indeed a tough one - especially the first half of the 20th century. I've now submitted an amended version that includes the nationality of each laureate as well as their literary genre(s). Some prizes were given in special recognition for a particular work, and in these instances that work is given as an additional hint. Also, some laureates wrote in a language that is not dominant in their country, and such cases are also illuminated. And lastly, I added some tidbits that I found helpful and/or interesting. I hope this makes the quiz a bit less impossible-ish. Further feedback is most welcome.
+4
Level 70
Feb 14, 2018
Any chance of getting this updated to include the last several years' winners?
+1
Level 86
Jul 15, 2021
It seems unlikely.