Nobel Prize in literature 2023 awarded to Norwegian author Jon Fosse



Norwegian author Jon Fosse, 64, is the winner of the 2023 Nobel Prize in literature for his “innovative plays and prose which give voice to the unsayable”.

The announcement was made on Thursday, October 5, 2023.

Anders Olsson, chairman of the Nobel committee for literature said: “His huge oeuvre, spanning a variety of genres, comprises around 40 plays and a wealth of novels, poetry collections, essays, children’s books and translations.

“Fosse blends a rootedness in the language and nature of his Norwegian background with artistic techniques in the wake of modernism.”

Born in 1959 in Haugesund on the west coast of Norway, Fosse grew up in Strandebarm. At the age of seven, he nearly died in an accident, which he said was “the most important experience” of his childhood and one that “created” him as an artist.

He aspired to be a rock guitarist before turning his ambitions to writing.

His debut novel, Raudt, svart (“Red, Black”), was published in 1983. His first play to be performed, Og aldri skal vi skiljast (“And Never Shall We Part”), was staged at the National Theater in Bergen in 1994. Yet, the first play he wrote, Nokon kjem til å komme (“Someone Is Going to Come”), would lead to his breakthrough in 1999 when French director Claude Régy staged it in Nanterre.

In the words of Swedish industrialist and awards founder Alfred Nobel, the prestigious prize should go “to the person who, in the field of literature, produced the most outstanding work in an idealistic direction”.

Each year, there are six Nobel Prizes awarded to recognise individuals’ outstanding contribution to the field of chemistry, psychology or medicine, physics, literature, peace and – in what was an addition in later years – economics.

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