Thursday, October 9, 2014

Old Books by Dead Nobel Laureates

Congratulations to Patrick Modiano
French novelist Patrick Modiano has just been announced as the winner of the 2014 Nobel Prize in Literature. Old Books by Dead Guys offers a hearty congratulations to him even though, not surprisingly, I’ve never read any of his work. Year after year people argue over whether the winner is truly the world’s greatest writer, or whether the whole thing is one big political contest, yet despite such quibbles the authors chosen are generally of high calibre and certainly worthy of accolades. What I enjoy about the annual Nobel festivities is that it provides a much-needed reminder to my self-centric nation that great literature does indeed exist outside the borders of the United States. Of course, many of the world’s greatest authors never won a Nobel, and the prize has only been in existence since 1901, which rules out a lot of Old Books by Dead Guys. Nevertheless, if you’re looking to explore new authors in world literature, the list of Nobel Laureates is always a good place to start.

So far Old Books by Dead Guys has reviewed 34 works by 10 Nobel Laureates. Not surprisingly, they all come from the first half of the 20th century. Click on the links below to read the complete reviews.

Bjørnstjerne Bjørnson (1903 Nobel) Norway

Henryk Sienkiewicz (1905 Nobel) Poland

Rudyard Kipling (1907 Nobel) United Kingdom

Paul von Heyse (1910 Nobel) Germany

Maurice Maeterlinck (1911 Nobel) Belgium

Knut Hamsun (1920 Nobel) Norway

Wladyslaw Reymont (1924 Nobel) Poland

Sinclair Lewis (1930 Nobel) United States of America

Pearl S. Buck (1938 Nobel) United States of America (raised in China)

Hermann Hesse (1946 Nobel) Switzerland (born in Germany)

Look for more reviews of Nobel Prize-winning authors at Old Books by Dead Guys. If I review enough of them, I’ll make this an annual event.

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