- Title: Moving on from scandal, Swedish Academy to award two Nobel literature prizes
- Date: 8th October 2019
- Summary: STOCKHOLM, SWEDEN (FILE - MARCH 5, 2019) (REUTERS) DIRECTOR OF THE NOBEL FOUNDATION, LARS HEIKENSTEN, COMING OUT OF BUILDING HOUSING NOBEL FOUNDATION FOLLOWING BOARD MEETING HEIKENSTEN BEING INTERVIEWED (SOUNDBITE) (English) DIRECTOR OF THE NOBEL FOUNDATION, LARS HEIKENSTEN, SAYING: "We have decided that there will be a Nobel prize in literature in the fall for 2019 and the Swedish Academy will also be able to reward one for 2018. So, there will be two prizes this fall." HEIKENSTEN BEING INTERVIEWED (SOUNDBITE) (English) DIRECTOR OF THE NOBEL FOUNDATION, LARS HEIKENSTEN, SAYING: "Well, they (Swedish Academy) have over the year - you know it's taken longer than we would have wished - but over the year they have taken several different steps. It has been possible for them gradually to put behind them what happened last year. Several of the members most involved are not involved anymore in the Nobel prize work which is important. But also, quite important and perhaps more important is that they are now talking about changing the rules, becoming a more open institution. Thinking about time periods for how long they can be members - you know it used to be life time membership - now they can leave, they don't need to spend their whole life there but also they are now discussing having some fixed mandates. So you know they are gradually moving in the direction where they are dealing with the issues that came up but also putting together a reform agenda you could say." HEIKENSTEN BEING INTERVIEWED
- Embargoed: 22nd October 2019 02:21
- Keywords: Nobel literature prize Swedish Academy
- Location: STOCKHOLM, SWEDEN AND INTERNET
- City: STOCKHOLM, SWEDEN AND INTERNET
- Country: Sweden
- Topics: Books,Arts / Culture / Entertainment
- Reuters ID: LVA004B08JZUV
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: The Swedish body that awards the annual Nobel prize for literature will name two winners on Thursday (October 10), including one for 2018 when the ceremony was scuttled by a sexual assault scandal that prompted reforms by the long secretive organisation.
The Nobel Foundation blocked the Swedish Academy from awarding the prize last year after sexual misconduct allegations against the husband of one of its board members and accusations of leaks had effectively paralysed the institution.
Lars Heikensten, head of the foundation that administers the prizes created in the will of dynamite inventor Alfred Nobel, had warned last year it might strip the 233-year-old academy of its role in awarding the prize.
The scandal, which first emerged in late 2017, was the biggest crisis to hit the academy in its history, with a string of members resigning in protest.
Jean-Claude Arnault, the photographer husband of poet and former academy member Katarina Frostenson, was jailed last year after a rape conviction. Frostenson left the body in January 2019 after an inquiry found she had leaked the names of prize winners, which she denies.
Since then, the academy has appointed several new members and set up a new prize committee, aiming to restore public confidence and retain the right to pick the winners of the world's most prestigious literary award, clearing the way for the double awards on Thursday.
The Nobel Foundation has been drafting a common code of conduct for all prize-awarding bodies. It will cover aspects like ensuring the names of laureates under consideration are kept secret, conflicts of interest, and nepotism.
Among this year's award favourites with bookmakers are Canadian poet Anne Carson, novelist Maryse CondÃ© from the French Caribbean island of Guadeloupe, and Japanese author Haruki Murakami.
(Production: Ilze Filks)
- Copyright Holder: FILE REUTERS (CAN SELL)
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