2018 – Edwidge Danticat

Edwidge Danticat

“In her work, Danticat addresses how the specter of history haunts the unresolved present and undermines the future; how nationalism and national identity can be sources of both pride and corruption; and how parent-child bonds, no matter how damaged, can

Finalists for the 2018 Neustadt International Prize for Literature

Emmanuel Carrère (b. 1957) is a French author, screenwriter, and film director. Carrère studied at the Institut d’études politiques de Paris (better known as Sciences Po). Much of his writing, both fiction and nonfiction, centers on the primary themes of

2018 Neustadt Prize Jury

Alisa Ganieva (b. 1985) grew up in Makhachkala, the capital of Dagestan. Her literary debut, the novella Salaam, Dalgat!, won the prestigious Debut Prize in 2009. Also a journalist and literary critic, her first novel, The Mountain and the Wall

2016 – Dubravka Ugrešić

Dubravka Ugrešić. Photo by Jerry Braun.

“I know of no other writer who has been so adept at translating an experience of war and exile to the observation of the foibles and shortcomings of humankind, to leave the reader feeling, if occasionally somewhat despondent, nevertheless bemused

Finalists for the 2016 Neustadt International Prize for Literature

The 2016 Neustadt Prize Finalists

Can Xue Can Xue (Deng Xiaohua), whose pseudonym in Chinese means both the dirty snow that refuses to melt and the purest snow at the top of a high mountain, was born in 1953 in Changsha City, Hunan Province, in

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2016 Neustadt Prize Jury

2016 Neustadt Prize Jury

Alison Anderson Alison Anderson is a literary translator and writer. Anderson grew up on the East Coast of the United States, then moved to Switzerland where she obtained her undergraduate degree in Russian and French and a master’s in translation

2014 – Mia Couto

Mia Couto, laureate of the 2014 Neustadt International Prize for Literature

“Some critics have called Mia Couto ‘the smuggler writer,’ a sort of Robin Hood of words who steals meanings to make them available in every tongue, forcing apparently separate worlds to communicate. Within his novels, each line is like a

2014 Neustadt Prize Jury

2014 Neustadt Prize Jury

  Lauren Camp Camp is a poet, artist and performer. She is the author of a book of poems, This Business of Wisdom, and more than 150 of her poems have been publshed in journals and anthologies. Her series of jazz

Nominees for the 2014 Neustadt International Prize for Literature

2014 Shortlist of Nominees

  César Aira is an Argentine writer, translator, and exponent of contemporary Argentine literature. He has published over seventy books of stories, novels, and essays. He is known for his prolific rate of publication, producing two to four novella-length books each

About the Neustadt Prize

Neustadt Prize Feather

The Neustadt International Prize for Literature is a biennial award sponsored by the University of Oklahoma and World Literature Today. The Prize consists of $50,000, a replica of an eagle feather cast in silver, and a certificate. A generous endowment from

2012 – Rohinton Mistry

Rohinton Mistry. Photo by Shevaun Williams.

“Mistry writes with great passion, and his body of work shows the most compassionate and astute observations of the human condition, making him one of the most exciting and important contemporary novelists writing in the English language.”—Samrat Upadhyay in his

2010 – Duo Duo

Duo Duo. Photo by Simon Hurst.

“Duo Duo remains a poet’s poet.”—Michelle Yeh, “‘Monologue of a Stormy Soul’: The Poetry and Poetics of Duo Duo, 1972-1988” (WLT Vol. 85, March 2011) Duo Duo 多多 (b. 1951) is the pen name of Li Shizheng. He started writing poetry in

2008 – Patricia Grace

Patricia Grace

“Grace’s stories make a shining and enduring place formed of the brilliant weave of Maori oral storytelling and contained within the shape of contemporary Western forms. We are welcomed in, and when we get up to leave, we have been

2006 – Claribel Alegría

Claribel Alegria. Photo by Simon Hurst.

  “A singular woman, Claribel Alegria was born for literature and has made literature a vital part of her life . . .”—Sergio Ramírez, “A Winged Tiger” (WLT Vol. 81, May 2007) Claribel Alegría (b. 1924) is often considered the most important contributor to

2004 – Adam Zagajewski

Adam Zagajewski

“Zagajewski’s urging is the more compelling precisely because it is not heard, but overheard; we follow his example not because he demands it, but because his own struggle so fully engages our sympathies.”—Clare Cavanaugh, “Lyric and Public: The Case of

2002 – Álvaro Mutis

Alvaro Mutis

“If one of the functions of great fiction is to teach us how to live, in his depictions of nature and his descriptions of Maqroll, Álvaro fulfills that duty, without precepts, certainly without dogma, but by sacralized, yet worldly, example.”—Edith

2000 – David Malouf

David Malouf

“Malouf wants to retain and insist upon human moral responsibility, if not for what we endure, then certainly for how we make meaning of those events.”—Carolyn Bliss, “Reimagining the Remembered: David Malouf and the Moral Implications of Myth” (WLT Vol. 74,

1998 – Nuruddin Farah

Nuruddin Farrah

“It is through intertextuality that he extends his literary and philosophical referents to make postcolonial Somali culture part of a cosmopolitan discourse that is a crucial ingredient of what it means to be African in the modern world.”—Simon Gikandi, “Nuruddin

1996 – Assia Djebar

“…we are lauding her here because she has given weeping its words and longing its lyrics.”—William Gass, “Encomium for Assia Djebar, 1996 Neustadt Laureate” (WLT Vol. 40, Autumn 1996) Assia Djebar (b. 1936) is the pen name of Fatima-Zohra Imalayen. She was

1994 – Kamau Brathwaite

“Kamau Brathwaite, a towering poet, has moved from the margins of language and history, from the peripheral realm of ”the other exiles,’ to the center of civilization, affecting a renaissance of oral poetry and remaking of the poetic world.” – H.

1992 – João Cabral de Melo Neto

Joao Cabral de Melo Neto

“Cabral’s project is to re-create the world, taking the things—both abstract and concrete—that are common to all men and turning them around, making them uncommon, conferring on them the dimension they lacked.” —Richard Zenith, “The State of Things in the Poetry

1990 – Tomas Tranströmer

“He has been able to breathe life into the most uninspiring realities of modern existence and in this way has significantly broadened the scope of our poetic vision of the world.” – Jaan Kaplinski, from his 1990 nominating statement for Tranströmer

1988 – Raja Rao

Raja Rao

“[Raja Rao is] perhaps the most brilliant—and certainly the most interesting—writer of modern India.”—Santha Rama Rau, as quoted in “The Quality of Presence” (WLT Vol. 62, Autumn 1988) Raja Rao (1908-2006) was born in Hassan, in what is now Narnataka in South

1986 – Max Frisch

Max Frisch

“For a spirit as genuinely cosmopolitan as Max Frisch, one could not imagine an award more appropriate than the Neustadt International Prize for Literature.”—Francis Michael Sharp, “Max Frisch: A Writer in a Technological Age” (WLT Vol. 60, Autumn 1986) Max Frisch (1911-1991)

1984 – Paavo Haavikko

Paavo Haavikko

“He seems not only to see but also to say, sometimes tortuously but at the same time quite clearly and incorruptibly, how things are. The world speaks ‘indistinctly, fast and about everything all at once,’ and Haavikko’s solution has been

1982 – Octavio Paz

Octavio Paz

“Octavio Paz is the critical, free, lucid conscience of the world in which we live.” —Jorge Guillén, “In Homage to Octavio Paz, Neustadt Laureate” (WLT Vol. 56, Autumn 1982) Octavio Paz (1914-1988) was born and raised in Mixcoac, a present-day part of Mexico City.

1980 – Josef Škvorecký

Josef Skvorecky

“To my mind Josef Škvorecký is one of the finest living writers. His two short novels The Bass Saxophone and The Legend of Emöke I put in the same rank as James Joyce’s The Dead and the very best of Henry James’s shorter novels.”—Graham Green (WLT Vol. 54,

1978 – Czesław Miłosz

Czeslaw Milosz

“The example of Czesław Miłosz inspires hope. He did that which is now imperative for people leaving the countries of Eastern Europe to do: he preserved his spiritual integrity and made his way back to the motherland.”—Tomas Venclova, “Czesław Miłosz:

1976 – Elizabeth Bishop

Elizabeth Bishop

“More can be learned about how to write poetry from Elizabeth Bishop than from reading the writings of most other poets.”—Jerome Mazzaro, “Elizabeth Bishop’s Particulars” (WLT Vol. 51, Winter 1977) Elizabeth Bishop (1911-1979) was born in Massachussetts. Her father died when she

1974 – Francis Ponge

Francis Ponge

“Verbal humor is one of the more obvious features of Ponge’s style. It runs the whole gamut of word play, down to the outrageous sort of pun customarily greeted with a groan. In part, this carries on the systematic surrealist

1972 – Gabriel García Márquez

Gabriel Garcia Marquez

“Nobody who still knows that books can be fun should miss this novel [Cien años] and the other works of Gabriel García Márquez.”—Wolfgang A. Luchting, “Gabriel García Márquez: The Boom and the Whisper” (Books Abroad Vol. 44, Winter 1970) Gabriel García Márquez (b. 1927) was

1970 – Giuseppe Ungaretti

Giuseppe Ungaretti

“Thanks to Giuseppe Ungaretti and his work, Italian poetry early in this century regained a universality of language through which have found exemplary expression the innermost anguish, dreams, and hopes of modern man.”—Luciano Rebay, “Encomium for Giuseppe Ungaretti” (Books Abroad Vol.