Book Culture Book Trivia #1: Unsuccesful Nominations for the Nobel Prize in Literature

The nominations database for the Nobel prize in literature is only available publicly for records more than 50 years old.  From 1901 to 1964, these authors were nominated (some many times!) but were never awarded the Nobel prize.

Andre Breton - Nominated twice

Lost to Giorgos Seferis & Jean-Paul Sartre.

Thomas Hardy - Nominated twelve times

Lost to Paul Johann Ludwig Heyse, Count Maurice (Mooris) Polidore Marie Bernhard Maeterlinck, Gerhart Johann Robert Hauptmann, Rabindranath Tagore, Knut Pedersen Hamsun, Jacinto Benavente,William Butler Yeats, Wladyslaw Stanislaw Reymont, George Bernard Shaw, Grazia Deledda & Henri Bergson.  There was no prize awarded in 1914.

Andre Malraux - Nominated fifteen times

Lost to André Paul Guillaume Gide, Thomas Stearns Eliot, William Faulkner, François Mauriac, Ernest Miller Hemingway, Halldór Kiljan Laxness, Juan Ramón Jiménez, Albert Camus, Boris Leonidovich Pasternak, Salvatore Quasimodo, Saint-John Perse, Ivo Andric, John Steinbeck, Giorgos Seferis & Jean-Paul Sartre.

Vladimir Nabokov - Nominated twice

Lost to Giorgos Seferis & Jean-Paul Sartre.

Ezra Pound - Nominated seven times

Lost to Halldór Kiljan Laxness, Juan Ramón Jiménez, Albert Camus, Salvatore Quasimodo, Saint-John Perse, John Steinbeck & Giorgos Seferis.

Leo Tolstoy - Nominated five times

Lost to Christian Matthias Theodor Mommsen,Bjørnstjerne Martinus Bjørnson,José Echegaray y Eizaguirre & Frédéric Mistral, Henryk Sienkiewicz & Giosuè Carducci.

Edith Wharton - Nominated three times

Lost to Henri Bergson, Sigrid Undset & Sinclair Lewis.

Tennessee Williams - Nominated once

Lost to Boris Leonidovich Pasternak.

Emile Zola - Nominated twice

Lost to Sully Prudhomme & Christian Matthias Theodor Mommsen.


Out of interest…

Albert Camus finally won in 1957 after previously being nominated in 1949, 1950, 1952, 1954, 1955 & 1956.

John Steinbeck finally won in 1962 after previously being nominated in 1943, 1944, 1945, 1949, 1958, 1959, 1960 & 1961.

William Yeats finally won in 1923 after being nominated in 1902, 1914, 1915, 1918, 1921, 1922, 1923.

Out of the 111 winners of the prize, only 13 women have won. 


By Bec