11/10/2012 by David Maybury · No Comments
Today see's the announcement of a new winner for the Nobel Prize for Literature - following the award to Swedish poet Thomas Transtromer last year. The prestigious award has, in its past, overlooked some of the worlds most recognised names including Jorge Luis Borges, Leo Tolstoy, Anton Chekhov, James Joyce, Marcel Proust, J. R. R. Tolkien and C. S. Lewis - some having written for children.
So how many Nobel Laureates have written for children?
Not only was Selma Lagerlöf the first woman to win the Nobel prize for Literature but her greatest surviving work is the children's classic, Nils Holgerssons underbara resa genom Sverige (The Wonderful Adventures of Nils).
While Thomas Mann never wrote for children, in an episode of The Simpsons, Weyland Smithers attempts to teach the children at Springfield Elementary to read Death in Venice.
Pearl S. Buck
Buck spent much of her life in China and her children's novels include a lot of her experiences - including The Big Wave and Sons.
Isaac Bashevis Singer
Recognise that name? Singer's books have been illustrated by some of the most iconic illustrators in the US, including Maurice Sendak, Eric Carle and Irene Lieblich. Singer and Lieblich's The Power of Light is a beautiful, traditional and classic book.
While not known for her children's writing Gordimer's first published work were two short stories for children, The Quest for Seen Gold and Come Again Tomorrow, aged 14.
Toni Morrison is no stranger to writing for kids and her collabortions with her son and artist Slade Morrison have been prolific, reaching two new books a year at their height.
Saramago's picturebook A Maior Flor do Mundo, illustrated by João Caetano, has been adapted into a popular animation.
J. M. G. Le Clézio
While not known for his children's fiction. Le Clézio has written more than 10 books for children, best known for The Boy Who Had Never Seen the Sea.
Kipling's nobel citatation states he was awarded the prize for "In consideration of the power of observation, originality of imagination, virility of ideas and remarkable talent for narration which characterize the creations of this world-famous author." Best known for his The Jungle Book and Kim, Kipling also wrote Rikki-Tikki-Tavi, Puck of Pooks' Hill, a series of Just So stories and more.