Picture by Sergiu Vălenaș (Unsplash)

Scandinavian and Nordic countries’ ‘Nobel Prize for Literature‘ laureates:

1903: Bjørnstjerne Bjørnson (1832–1910) (Norway, Norwegian) “as a tribute to his noble, magnificent and versatile poetry, which has always been distinguished by both the freshness of its inspiration and the rare purity of its spirit”. Genres: poetry, novel, drama

1909: Selma Lagerlöf (1858–1940) (Sweden, Swedish) “in appreciation of the lofty idealism, vivid imagination and spiritual perception that characterize her writings”. Genres: novel, short story

1916: Verner von Heidenstam (1859–1940) (Sweden, Swedish) “in recognition of his significance as the leading representative of a new era in our literature”. Genres: poetry, novel

1917 (shared): Karl Adolph Gjellerup (1857–1919) (Denmark, Danish/German) “for his varied and rich poetry, which is inspired by lofty ideals”. Genres: poetry

1917 (shared): Henrik Pontoppidan (1857-1943) (Denmark, Danish) “for his authentic descriptions of present-day life in Denmark”. Genres: novel

1920: Knut Hamsun (1859–1952) (Norway, Norwegian) “for his monumental work, Growth of the Soil”. Genres: novel

1928: Sigrid Undset (1882–1949) (Norway, Denmark/Norwegian) “principally for her powerful descriptions of Northern life during the Middle Ages”. Genres: novel

1931: Erik Axel Karlfeldt (1864–1931) (Sweden, Swedish) “The poetry of Erik Axel Karlfeldt”. Genres: poetry

1939: Frans Eemil Sillanpää (1888–1964) (Finland, Finnish) “for his deep understanding of his country’s peasantry and the exquisite art with which he has portrayed their way of life and their relationship with Nature”. Genres: novel

1944: Johannes Vilhelm Jensen (1873–1950) (Denmark, Danish) “for the rare strength and fertility of his poetic imagination with which is combined an intellectual curiosity of wide scope and a bold, freshly creative style”. Genres: novel, short story

1951: Pär Lagerkvist (1891–1974) (Sweden, Swedish) “for the artistic vigour and true independence of mind with which he endeavours in his poetry to find answers to the eternal questions confronting mankind”. Genres: poetry, novel, short story, drama

1955: Halldór Laxness (1902–1998) (Iceland, Icelandic) “for his vivid epic power, which has renewed the great narrative art of Iceland”. Genres: novel, short story, drama, poetry

1966 (shared): Nelly Sachs (1891-1970) (Sweden/Germany, German) “for her outstanding lyrical and dramatic writing, which interprets Israel’s destiny with touching strength”. Genres: poetry, drama

1974 (shared): Eyvind Johnson (1900–1976) (Sweden, Swedish) “for a narrative art, farseeing in lands and ages, in the service of freedom”. Genres: novel

1974 (shared): Harry Martinson (1904-1978) (Sweden, Swedish) “for writings that catch the dewdrop and reflect the cosmos”. Genres: poetry, novel, drama

2011: Tomas Tranströmer (1931–2015) (Sweden, Swedish) “because, through his condensed, translucent images, he gives us fresh access to reality”. Genres: poetry, translation

2023: Jon Fosse (b. 1959) (Norway, Norwegian/Nynorsk) “for his innovative plays and prose which give voice to the unsayable”. Genres: drama, novel, poetry, essays

Nobel laureates by country:

Sweden 8, Norway 4, Denmark 3, Finland and Iceland 1