The Norwegian playwright Jon Fosse, whose works are among the most often performed of any contemporary writer in Europe, received the Nobel Literature Prize on Thursday from the Swedish Academy.
According to the Swedish Academy, he was rewarded "for his imaginative plays and prose, which give voice to the unsayable."
In his work, form is more important than substance, and what is left unsaid is frequently more telling than what is.
Fosse's work is minimalistic, focused on straightforward language that conveys its meaning through rhythm, harmony, and stillness. It is sometimes likened to Samuel Beckett.
He is most known for his main works, "Boathouse" (1989), which garnered favorable reviews from critics, and "Melancholy" I and II (1995–1996).
Fosse, 64, had been a frequent subject of Nobel speculation for many years.
According to the judges, "His enormous oeuvre includes a wealth of plays, novels, poetry collections, essays, children's books, and translations, all written in Norwegian Nynorsk (one of Norway's written forms of language)."
He is currently one of the playwrights with the greatest number of performances worldwide, but he is also gaining recognition for his prose.
A medal and an award of 11 million Swedish kronor ($1 million) are included with the Nobel Prize.
The prize was given to French feminist hero Annie Ernaux last year for her deceptively straightforward books that drew on her own experiences with class and gender.
The Academy has long come under fire for selecting too many works by Western, white male authors.
Since the tragic #MeToo incident in 2018, the Swedish Academy has undergone significant adjustments, promising a more international and gender-neutral literature prize.
Since the controversy, it has recognized three men—Austrian author Peter Handke, Tanzanian novelist Abdulrazak Gurnah, and Fosse—and three women—Polish poet Olga Tokarczuk, US poet Louise Gluck, and Annie Ernaux.
On December 10, the anniversary of the death of scientist Alfred Nobel in 1896, Fosse will be presented with the Nobel Prize by King Carl XVI Gustaf at a solemn event in Stockholm.