Nobel prize in literature 2007

Goes to Doris Lessing, who is,

that epicist of the female experience, who with scepticism, fire and visionary power has subjected a divided civilisation to scrutiny.

NPR has a nice piece on Lessing, where it calls the decision stunning:

The Swedish academy’s announcement was stunning even by the standards of Nobel judges, who have been known for such surprises as Austria’s Elfriede Jelinek and Italy’s Dario Fo.

Maud Newton links to a recent interview with her in Boston Globe, where the interviewer does mention Nobel prize:

For her devoted fan base, Lessing is unquestionably the greatest living writer never to win a Nobel Prize.

Tune in for update on the reactions!

Update 1: Reactions of Ms. Lessing:

Ms. Lessing learned the news from a group of reporters camped on her doorstep as she returned home from visiting her son in the hospital. She declared herself totally surprised.

“I had forgotten about it, actually,” she said. “My name has been on the short list for such a long time.”

On second thought, she said, perhaps she was not entirely surprised, because “this has been going on for something like 40 years,” a reference to the many years when she had been named as a potential honoree. “You can’t go on getting excited every year about this,” she said. “There are limits to getting excited finally.”

Short, stout and a bit hard of hearing, Ms. Lessing was sharp and straightforward in her comments. After a few moments, she excused herself and went inside.

“Now, I’m going to go in to answer my telephone,” she said. “I swear I’m going upstairs to find some suitable sentences which I will be using from now on.”

Update 2: Ms. Lessing did find some suitable sentences:

Her quote today, in the Guardian, was priceless: “I’ve won all the prizes in Europe, every bloody one. I’m delighted to win them all, the whole lot. It’s a royal flush.”

Update 3: Complete Review is doing a wonderful job of collecting the Nobel prize related stories (so, I don’t have to keep updating this post any more); via Laila Lalami.

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2 Responses to “Nobel prize in literature 2007”

  1. Jayan Says:

    Nobel prize for literature always gets into some controversy. It will not be different this time either. Personally, I haven’t read any of her works and can’t comment. However there are more deserving candidates..

  2. Guru Says:

    Dear Jayan,

    There are so many good and deserving writers, and, only one Nobel prize per year, I guess controversy is inevitable as you note. On the other hand, though, like you I have also not read any Lessing, I understand that she had been speculated to be a winner for quite some years now (Literary Saloon speculates that she was the fall-back winner in case the committee is split up, and that is how she got it). So, may be, we can check her out and see if we have missed a worthy writer or not.

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