The critically acclaimed author is the first ever laureate in the prize’s history to write in Nynorsk and his win marks a further step in the Nordic state’s rise as a cultural powerhouse

Jon Fosse wins the 2023 Nobel prize in literature

This year’s winner of the Nobel prize in literature, Norwegian author Jon Fosse, was one of the bookies’ frontrunners and has been considered a serious contender for a good decade.

Yet when the Nobel Committee’s permanent secretary Mats Malm read out Fosse’s name, it still came as a surprise. A day beforehand Swedish critic Agri Ismaïl said the possibility of a win for the Norwegian playwright and novelist would be: “Too obvious”. The Swedish academy had defied bookies’ predictions and wrongfooted critics too many times in the past, and if there was one consensus in the run-up, it was that the prize would not go to Europe, where six of the last ten winners had come from.

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