Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Nobel Prize Laureates I Have Read

I recently read a really nice short story by Alice Munro. I am currently reading Blindness by José Saramago. What do they have in common? That's right, they were both awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature: Saramago way back in 1998 and Munro only last year. When someone commented "How often do you get to say you've read a Nobel Prize winner?" at the book club the other day, it got me thinking. I honestly didn't know if I ever had any - the only author I was certain about was William Golding, and only because Lord of the Flies formed a large part of my syllabus last year.
So I found this list of all Nobel Prize Winners in Literature ever and satisfied my curiousity.

I have read the works of twelve Nobel Prize Laureates:
  1. Alice Munro 2013 - Dimension (short story)
  2. V. S. Naipaul 2001 - The Mystic Masseuse
  3. William Golding 1983 - Lord of the Flies, The Hot Gates
  4. Gabriel Garcia Marquez 1982 - Love in the Time of Cholera
  5. Heinrich Böll 1972 - The Train Was on Time, Clown, And Where Were You, Adam?, Irish Journal
  6. Albert Camus 1957 - The Fall
  7. Ernest Hemingway 1954 - The Sun Also Rises
  8. Bertrand Russell 1950 - The Conquest of Happiness and Why I am Not a Christian (and something else) when I was younger.
  9. Thomas Stearns Eliot 1948 - Old Possum's Book of Practical Cats, Portrait of a Lady, The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock, On Poetry and Poets
  10. Hermann Hesse 1946 - Siddhartha
  11. George Bernard Shaw 1925 - Pygmalion
  12. Rudyard Kipling 1907 - The Jungle Book (granted, it was probably abridged), The Phantom Rickshaw (short story)
I can't say I've read enough of Kipling or Hemingway to decide whether I liked them. I don't see myself reading anything else by Gabriel Garcia Marquez anytime soon. That leaves seven authors. I love William Golding, Heinrich Böll, Bertrand Russel and Eliot. I liked The Fall and do want to read The Stranger, which Camus is rather more renowned for. I was impressed by Siddhartha, but having read it in German, it was difficult to love it - but I do want to read Steppenwolf, I almost stole it from a shopkeeper once. Pygmalion was beautiful. As for Naipaul, I found The Mystic Masseuse funny, but I would have to read more to really know. And I have already ordered a collection of the best stories by Alice Munro!

Of course, there are many authors I love a lot more, contemporaries of these writers even, who totally deserved the honour (me thinks) and this isn't my judging a book by its Prize. That being said, there is a whole other bunch of books by awardees on my shelves, virtual and real, some read half-way, waiting to be finished. Five! I counted. Should I be worried that I feel all mighty and haughty at having read (soon enough) seventeen Nobel Prize winning writers. Why, how many have you read?

6 comments:

Divers and Sundry said...

i'm surprised by how of these authors i've read something by and equally surprised by how many of them i've never heard of lol

Priya said...

Divers and Sundry - I know what you mean... I haven't heard of half of them either!!

Viktoria Berg said...

I am very surprised, too, at being reasonably familiar with 46 of them! Lucky for them, most on the list are more famous for their writing than for having recieved the Nobel Prize. And seven on my list are Swedes, which indicates that I have an unfair advantage. My favourites are, besides Munro: Hertha Müller, Coetzee, Grass, Canetti, Martinson, and Mann.

Priya said...

Viktoria - Wow, 46!! I suddenly feel all small and insignificant. :) I don't know if I'll ever get to that many, but the list has made me curious to try and get to know many of these authors.

nishitak said...

I don't think I've read many Nobel Laureates too. However, don't give up on Marquez, Love in the time of Cholera is slow, but One Hundred Years of Solitude is excellent.

Priya said...

Nishita - Okay, I'll give it the old college try! Thanks for the suggestion. :)

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