Norway’s Jon Fosse Wins 2023 Nobel Prize for Literature

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By Adedapo Adesanya

The Nobel Prize in Literature has been awarded to Norwegian writer, Mr Jon Fosse, for “his innovative plays and prose, which give voice to the unsayable,” according to the Royal Swedish Academy.

One of his country’s most-performed dramatists, Mr Fosse, 64, has written some 40 plays as well as novels, short stories, children’s books, poetry and essays.

Mr Mats Malm, permanent secretary of the academy, announced the prize Thursday in Stockholm.

Mr Malm said he reached Fosse by telephone to inform him of the prize and that the writer was driving in the countryside and promised to drive home carefully.

Speaking on this, Mr Anders Olsson, chair of the Nobel literature committee, said Mr Fosse’s work is rooted “in the language and nature of his Norwegian background.”

Mr Fosse was born in 1959 in Haugesund on the Norwegian west coast. His immense œuvre written in Nynorsk and spanning a variety of genres consists of a wealth of plays, novels, poetry collections, essays, children’s books and translations.

While he is today one of the most widely performed playwrights in the world, he has also become increasingly recognized for his prose. His debut novel Raudt, svart 1983, as rebellious as it was emotionally raw, broached the theme of suicide and, in many ways, set the tone for his later work.

Mr Fosse’s magnum opus in prose is the late Septology he completed in 2021: Det andre namnet (2019; The Other Name, 2020), Eg er ein annan (2020; I is Another, 2020) and Eit nytt namn (2021; A New Name, 2021).

The winner for peace will be announced on Friday and that of economic sciences will be awarded next Monday.

The Nobel Prizes carry a cash award of 11 million Swedish kronor ($1 million) from a bequest left by their creator, Swedish inventor Alfred Nobel. Winners also receive an 18-carat gold medal and diploma at the award ceremonies in December.

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