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Women Nobel Prize Winners for Literature

by Liz Olson

Each year, writers who have produced the most distinguished literary work of an idealist tendency are awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature. The honor was not bestowed on a woman until 1909. Follow the slideshow to see the distinguished female writers who have won the Nobel Prize for Literature.

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Selma Lagerlof (1909)

Selma Lagerlof was a Swedish novelist. Her native Värmland is the background for many of her excellent stories, which deal with peasant life. Her novels include The Story of Gösta Berling (1891, tr. 1898), a romantic tale of a renegade priest, lyrical in style; Jerusalem (1901, tr. 1901-2); and a trilogy (1925-28), which was published in English as The Ring of the Lowenskolds (1931). The short stories of The Wonderful Adventures of Nils (1906, tr. 1907) are classics of children's literature. She received the 1909 Nobel Prize in Literature, the first woman to be thus honored.

Fun Fact: Lagerlof's most popular work, Gösta Berlings Saga, was published in 1891, but did not receive notice until its Danish translation, which garnered her critical acclaim.

Source: Columbia Encyclopedia.

Next: Grazia Deledda (1926)


Provided by Infoplease—an authoritative, comprehensive reference website that offers an encyclopedia, a dictionary, an atlas, and several almanacs. Visit Infoplease.com to find more resources endorsed by teachers and librarians.


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