No Nobel? Let’s form a new literature prize

What do you do when this year’s Nobel Literature Prize, the world’s most prestigious accolade of its kind, is postponed because of a scandal?

You create your own award.

More than 100 Swedish intellectuals have joined forces to form a new prize-giving body in protest after the Swedish Academy, which selects Nobel laureates, was plunged into a crisis.

It is meant to “remind people that literature and culture at large should promote democracy, transparency, empathy and respect, without privilege”, the 107 intellectuals wrote in a joint statement.

The new literature award, which carries a prize of one million kronor (around 97,000 euros, $113,000) raised from crowdfunding and donations, will be handed out at a December 10 ceremony, the same day as the Nobel banquet.

Librarians across Sweden have been asked to nominate up to two authors. Authors with the most nominations will then receive votes online from the public in Sweden and abroad. Based on the nominations and the vote results, a jury including publishers, literature professors, culture journalists and critics will shortlist four authors — two men and two women — and make the final choice.

The winner must have published at least one literary work in the last 10 years, will be announced on October 14. AFP

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