Oct 10, 2019

2 writers receive Nobel Prizes in literature following academy scandal

The Swedish Academy announces the winners of the 2018 and 2019 Nobel Prizes in literature. Photo: Karin Wesslen/TT News Agency/AFP/Getty Images

Two writers were awarded Nobel Prizes in literature on Thursday — following a scandal at the Swedish Academy that led to the postponement of the 2018 award, reports the New York Times.

The big picture: The Nobel Prize in literature has been awarded to 2 people simultaneously 4 times, the last in 1974 to Swedish writers Eyvind Johnson and Harry Martinson, according to the Times.

Backdrop: The 2018 award was postponed after the husband of an academy member was indicted for rape, notes the New York Times. It prompted the departure of multiple academy members.

The winners:

  • Polish author Olga Tokarczuk received the 2018 award "for a narrative imagination that with encyclopedic passion represents the crossing of boundaries as a form of life."
  • Austrian writer Peter Handke received the 2019 award "for an influential work that with linguistic ingenuity has explored the periphery and the specificity of human experience."

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President Trump singled out Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) on Twitter Saturday morning, saying she cancelled her planned appearance at an event in South Carolina because he received an award for his criminal justice reform legislation.

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MIT, Harvard professors win Nobel Prize in Economics for research on poverty

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Three professors who studied ways to alleviate poverty won the Nobel Prize in Economic Science on Monday, the AP reports.

Why it matters: With their research, Abhijit Banerjee and Esther Duflo, both of MIT, and Michael Kremer of Harvard introduced a new approach to addressing global poverty by dividing the issue into more manageable questions. Duflo, 46, is the youngest person and 2nd woman ever to receive a Nobel Prize in Economics.

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Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed wins Nobel Peace Prize

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Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed received the Nobel Peace Prize on Friday.

Why it matters: Ahmed was selected for his part in helping restart peace talks with neighboring Eritrea after years of conflict. The award is also meant to "recognize all the stakeholders working for peace and reconciliation in Ethiopia and in the East and Northeast African regions."

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