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Alternative Nobel Prize in Literature planned

A group of Swedish cultural figures have joined together to bestow an alternate literature award to replace this year’s Nobel Prize in Literature, reports the Guardian.

As previously reported, the 2018 Nobel Prize in Literature was cancelled in May following sexual assault allegations that triggered a series of resignations by jury members. The Swedish Academy had decided to instead choose two laureates in 2019.

More than 100 Swedish writers, actors, journalists and cultural figures have now formed an organisation called the New Academy, which plans to hand out its own award later this year. In contrast to the Nobel prize, which seeks to honour the writer who has contributed ‘the most outstanding work in an ideal direction’, the new award will be offered to a writer who has told the story of ‘humans in the world’.

The New Academy has invited Swedish librarians to nominate authors, who can be from anywhere in the world and must have published at least two books (one within the last 10 years) to be eligible. After nominations have been received, the New Academy will open a public vote to decide on the four most popular authors, and these will then be put before a jury to decide the winner.

The winner will be announced in October, in line with when the Nobel is traditionally announced. The New Academy will then be dissolved in December, after a formal celebration for the winner.

‘In awarding this prize, we are staging a protest,’ said the New Academy in a statement. ‘We want to show people that serious cultural work does not have to occur in a context of coercive language, irregularities or abuse.’

‘In a time when human values are increasingly being called into question, literature becomes an even more important counterforce to stop the culture of silence and oppression. The New Academy regards this as so important that the world’s greatest literature prize should still be awarded in 2018,’ said the organisation.

 

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Category: International news