The Nobel Foundation has announced in a press release that the Nobel Prize in Literature will once again be awarded during this year’s Nobel Prize ceremony on December 10. During the Nobel Prize ceremony two prizes in literature will be awarded–one for 2019 and one for 2018. This decision is in keeping with what was announced last year when scandals rocked the Swedish Academy, the body that appoints the recipient of the Nobel Prize in Literature, and the prize was temporarily suspended.
The decision to reinstate the Nobel Prize in Literature comes after a turbulent year of scandals and in-fighting in public among the members of the Swedish Academy. An organization under royal protection, the Swedish Academy has been working closely with the Nobel Foundation’s Board of Directors and the Swedish royal court to address the issues that brought the Academy near the brink of collapse. The issues of conflicts of interest, breaches of confidentiality, and economic misconduct were all brought to the fore when Jean-Claude Arnault, husband of former Academy member and poet Katarina Frostenson and close personal friend of Academy member Horace Engdahl, was accused of sexual assault. Arnault has since then been convicted on two accounts of rape, one of which took place in the Swedish Academy’s apartment in Paris.
The Nobel Prize in Literature might be back on track, but we are not out of the woods yet. The agreement between the Nobel Foundation and the Swedish Academy is temporary and will be renegotiated in 2020.
Until then, bookies and book publishers alike are once again turning their eyes towards Sweden in anticipation of the answer to the question: Who will win this year’s Nobel Prize in Literature? Let the speculations commence.