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The Nobel Prize in Literature

Almost every year since 1901 the Nobel Prize in Literature has been awarded, in accordance with Alfred Nobel’s will, to an author from anywhere in the world who has produced ‘in the field of literature the most outstanding work in an ideal direction’. While individual works may be cited, the prize is usually awarded for an author’s body of work.

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  • Dear Life Audiobook by Alice Munro Narrated by Liza Ross, Robert Slade

    Dear Life

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 17 mins)
    • By Alice Munro
    • Narrated By Liza Ross, Robert Slade
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (7)
    Performance
    (7)
    Story
    (7)

    Moments of change, chance encounters, twists of fate that create a new way of thinking or being: The stories in Dear Life build to form a radiant, indelible portrait of just how dangerous and strange ordinary life can be. The collection includes four powerful pieces, "autobiographical in Feeling", set during the time of Munro's own childhood, in the area where she grew up.

    Genevieve says: "Loved it!"
    Alice Munro, 2013: 'master of the contemporary short story'
  • Red Sorghum: A Novel of China Audiobook by Mo Yan, Howard Goldblatt (translator) Narrated by George Backman

    Red Sorghum: A Novel of China

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs and 25 mins)
    • By Mo Yan, Howard Goldblatt (translator)
    • Narrated By George Backman
    Overall
    (7)
    Performance
    (6)
    Story
    (7)

    Spanning three generations, this novel of family and myth is told through a series of flashbacks that depict events of staggering horror set against a landscape of gemlike beauty, as the Chinese battle both Japanese invaders and each other in the turbulent 1930s. A legend in China, where it won major literary awards and inspired an Oscar-nominated film directed by Zhang Yimou, Red Sorghum is a book in which fable and history collide to produce fiction that is entirely new—and unforgettable.

    Mo Yan, 2012: 'who with hallucinatory realism merges folk tales, history and the contemporary'
  • The Golden Notebook Audiobook by Doris Lessing Narrated by Juliet Stevenson

    The Golden Notebook

    • UNABRIDGED (27 hrs and 37 mins)
    • By Doris Lessing
    • Narrated By Juliet Stevenson
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (7)
    Performance
    (7)
    Story
    (7)

    Author Anna Wulf attempts to overcome writer’s block by writing a comprehensive "golden notebook" that draws together the preoccupations of her life, each of which is examined in a different notebook. Anna’s struggle to unify the various strands of her life – emotional, political, and professional – amasses into a fascinating encyclopaedia of female experience in the ‘50s.

    Anna Spencer says: "A complex but satisfying novel."
    Doris Lessing, 2007: 'that epicist of the female experience, who with scepticism, fire and visionary power has subjected a divided civilisation to scrutiny'
  • Istanbul: Memories of a City Audiobook by Orhan Pamuk Narrated by John Lee

    Istanbul: Memories of a City

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 46 mins)
    • By Orhan Pamuk
    • Narrated By John Lee
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (8)
    Performance
    (8)
    Story
    (7)

    Turkey's greatest living novelist guides us through the monuments and lost paradises, dilapidated Ottoman villas, back streets, and waterways of Istanbul - the city of his birth and the home of his imagination.

    Orhan Pamuk, 2006: 'who in the quest for the melancholic soul of his native city has discovered new symbols for the clash and interlacing of cultures'
  • Greed Audiobook by Elfriede Jelinek, Martin Chalmers (translator) Narrated by Suzanne Toren

    Greed

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 41 mins)
    • By Elfriede Jelinek, Martin Chalmers (translator)
    • Narrated By Suzanne Toren
    Overall
    (0)
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    (0)
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    (0)

    Greed is the story of Kurt Janisch, an ambitious but frustrated country policeman, and the lonely women he seduces. It is a thriller set amid the mountains and small towns of southern Austria, where the investigation of a dead girl's body in a lake leads to the discovery of more than a single crime. In her signature style, Jelinek chronicles the exploitative nature of relations between men and women, and the cruelties of everyday life.

    Elfriede Jelinek, 2004: 'for her musical flow of voices and counter-voices in novels and plays that with extraordinary linguistic zeal reveal the absurdity of society's clichés and their subjugating power'
  • A Bend in the River Audiobook by V.S. Naipaul Narrated by Simon Vance

    A Bend in the River

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 41 mins)
    • By V.S. Naipaul
    • Narrated By Simon Vance
    Overall
    (3)
    Performance
    (3)
    Story
    (3)

    In this incandescent novel, V.S. Naipaul takes us deeply into the life of one man, an Indian who, uprooted by the bloody tides of Third World history, has come to live in an isolated town at the bend of a great river in a newly independent African nation. Naipaul gives us the most convincing and disturbing vision yet of what happens in a place caught between the dangerously alluring modern world and its own tenacious past and traditions.

    ravi says: "Bad performance."
    V. S. Naipaul, 2001: 'for having united perceptive narrative and incorruptible scrutiny in works that compel us to see the presence of suppressed histories'
  • Blindness Audiobook by Jose Saramago Narrated by Jonathan Davis

    Blindness

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 33 mins)
    • By Jose Saramago
    • Narrated By Jonathan Davis
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (12)
    Performance
    (12)
    Story
    (12)

    A city is hit by a sudden and strange epidemic of "white blindness", which spares no one. Authorities confine the blind to an empty mental hospital, but there social conventions quickly crumble and the struggle for survival brings out the worst in people.

    Laeticia Muller says: "Loved this thought provoking book"
    José Saramago, 1998: 'who with parables sustained by imagination, compassion and irony continually enables us once again to apprehend an elusory reality'
  • Beloved Audiobook by Toni Morrison Narrated by Toni Morrison

    Beloved

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 6 mins)
    • By Toni Morrison
    • Narrated By Toni Morrison
    Overall
    (16)
    Performance
    (16)
    Story
    (16)

    Staring unflinchingly into the abyss of slavery, this spellbinding novel transforms history into a story as powerful as Exodus and as intimate as a lullaby. Sethe, its protagonist, was born a slave and escaped to Ohio, but 18 years later she is still not free. She has too many memories of Sweet Home, the beautiful farm where so many hideous things happened. And Sethe's new home is haunted by the ghost of her baby, who died nameless and whose tombstone is engraved with a single word: Beloved.

    Fiona O'Connell says: "A challenging listen"
    Toni Morrison, 1993: 'who in novels characterized by visionary force and poetic import, gives life to an essential aspect of American reality'
  • Burger's Daughter Audiobook by Nadine Gordimer Narrated by Nadia May

    Burger's Daughter

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 51 mins)
    • By Nadine Gordimer
    • Narrated By Nadia May
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (0)
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    (0)
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    (0)

    This is the moving story of the unforgettable Rosa Burger, a young woman from South Africa cast in the mold of a revolutionary tradition. Rosa tries to uphold her heritage handed on by martyred parents while still carving out a sense of self. Although it is wholly of today, Burger's Daughter can be compared to those 19th century Russian classics that make a certain time and place come alive, and yet stand as universal celebrations of the human spirit. Nadine Gordimer, winner of the 1991 Nobel Prize in Literature, was born and lives in South Africa.

    Nadine Gordimer, 1991: 'who through her magnificent epic writing has - in the words of Alfred Nobel - been of very great benefit to humanity'
  • Alternating Current Audiobook by Octavio Paz Narrated by Paul Michael Garcia

    Alternating Current

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 51 mins)
    • By Octavio Paz
    • Narrated By Paul Michael Garcia
    Overall
    (1)
    Performance
    (1)
    Story
    (1)

    A key figure in the Latin American literary renaissance, Octavio Paz focuses here on literature and art, drugs, the murder of God, and ethical and political problems.

    In the first part of this acclaimed work, Octavio Paz sets forth his credo as an artist and a poet. Part two deals with themes more specific to the late '60s and '70s, such as the drug experience and modern atheism. In part three, Paz concerns himself with politics and ethics. In no way diminished by time, every chapter in this book is an adventure of the mind.

    Octavio Paz, 1990: 'for impassioned writing with wide horizons, characterized by sensuous intelligence and humanistic integrity'
  • The Cairo Trilogy (Dramatised) Performance by Naguib Mahfouz Narrated by Omar Sharif

    The Cairo Trilogy (Dramatised)

    • ORIGINAL (2 hrs and 50 mins)
    • By Naguib Mahfouz
    • Narrated By Omar Sharif
    Overall
    (2)
    Performance
    (2)
    Story
    (2)

    Omar Sharif leads an all-Egyptian cast in this three-part drama, recorded entirely in Egypt's capital. Adapted from Naguib Mahfouz's novels, this is a gripping family saga, with a monstrous father, a loving mother, and four children. It is set in seductive Cairo from 1917 to 1953, against a backdrop of political upheaval.

    Naguib Mahfouz, 1988: 'who, through works rich in nuance - now clear-sightedly realistic, now evocatively ambiguous - has formed an Arabian narrative art that applies to all mankind'
  • Joseph Brodsky: Selected Poems Audiobook by Joseph Brodsky Narrated by Andrey Kolyada

    Joseph Brodsky: Selected Poems

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 28 mins)
    • By Joseph Brodsky
    • Narrated By Andrey Kolyada
    Overall
    (0)
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    (0)
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    V audioknige predstavleny izbrannyye stikhi Iosifa Brodskogo - odnogo iz krupneyshikh russkikh poetov XX veka. Iosif Brodskiy yavlyayetsya laureatom Nobelevskoy premii po literature "za mnogogrannoye tvorchestvo, otmechennoye ostrotoy mysli i glubokoy poetichnost'yu". V predstavlennyy sbornik voshlo 86 stikhov vydayushchegosya poeta.

    Joseph Brodsky, 1987: 'for an all-embracing authorship, imbued with clarity of thought and poetic intensity'
  • Lord of the Flies Audiobook by William Golding Narrated by Martin Jarvis

    Lord of the Flies

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 59 mins)
    • By William Golding
    • Narrated By Martin Jarvis
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (89)
    Performance
    (80)
    Story
    (79)

    A plane crashes on a desert island and the only survivors, a group of schoolboys, assemble on the beach and wait to be rescued. By day they inhabit a land of bright fantastic birds and dark blue seas, but at night their dreams are haunted by the image of a terrifying beast. As the boys’ delicate sense of order fades, so their childish dreams are transformed into something more primitive, and their behaviour starts to take on a murderous, savage significance.

    William Golding, 1983: 'for his novels which, with the perspicuity of realistic narrative art and the diversity and universality of myth, illuminate the human condition in the world of today'
  • One Hundred Years of Solitude Audiobook by Gabriel García Márquez Narrated by John Lee

    One Hundred Years of Solitude

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 4 mins)
    • By Gabriel García Márquez
    • Narrated By John Lee
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (55)
    Performance
    (49)
    Story
    (47)

    One of the 20th century's enduring works, One Hundred Years of Solitude is a widely beloved and acclaimed novel known throughout the world and the ultimate achievement in a Nobel Prize-winning career. The novel tells the story of the rise and fall of the mythical town of Macondo through the history of the Buendía family. Rich and brilliant, it is a chronicle of life, death, and the tragicomedy of humankind. In the beautiful, ridiculous, and tawdry story of the Buendía family, one sees all of humanity, just as in the history, myths, growth, and decay of Macondo, one sees all of Latin America.

    Vicky Finn says: "Too hard to enjoy as an audio book"
    Gabriel García Márquez, 1982: 'for his novels and short stories, in which the fantastic and the realistic are combined in a richly composed world of imagination, reflecting a continent's life and conflicts'
  • Herzog Audiobook by Saul Bellow Narrated by Malcolm Hillgartner

    Herzog

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs and 34 mins)
    • By Saul Bellow
    • Narrated By Malcolm Hillgartner
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (0)
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    (0)
    Story
    (0)

    Winner of the National Book Award when it was first published in 1964, Herzog traces five days in the life of a failed academic whose wife has recently left him for his best friend. Through the device of letter writing, Herzog movingly portrays both the internal life of its eponymous hero and the complexity of modern consciousness.

    Saul Bellow, 1976: 'for the human understanding and subtle analysis of contemporary culture that are combined in his work'
  • Thousand Cranes Audiobook by Yasunari Kawabata Narrated by Brian Nishii

    Thousand Cranes

    • UNABRIDGED (3 hrs)
    • By Yasunari Kawabata
    • Narrated By Brian Nishii
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (0)
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    (0)
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    (0)

    With a restraint that barely conceals the ferocity of his characters' passions, one of Japan's great postwar novelists tells the luminous story of Kikuji and the tea party he attends with Mrs. Ota, the rival of his dead father's mistress. A tale of desire, regret, and sensual nostalgia, every gesture has a meaning, and even the most fleeting touch or casual utterance has the power to illuminate entire lives - sometimes in the same moment that it destroys them.

    Yasunari Kawabata, 1968: 'for his narrative mastery, which with great sensibility expresses the essence of the Japanese mind'
  • Sweet Thursday Audiobook by John Steinbeck Narrated by Paul Birchard

    Sweet Thursday

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 10 mins)
    • By John Steinbeck
    • Narrated By Paul Birchard
    Overall
    (2)
    Performance
    (1)
    Story
    (1)

    Returning to the scene of Cannery Row, Steinbeck brilliantly re-creates its bawdy, high-spirited world of bums, drunks and hookers, telling the story of what happened to everyone after the war. There’s Fauna, the latest madam at the Bear Flag brothel; Doc, still there for everyone else but feeling strangely sad himself; and Suzy, the new hustler in town who might just be the girl to save him.

    John Steinbeck, 1962: 'for his realistic and imaginative writings, combining as they do sympathetic humour and keen social perception'
  • Doctor Zhivago Audiobook by Boris Pasternak Narrated by Phillip Madoc

    Doctor Zhivago

    • UNABRIDGED (18 hrs and 29 mins)
    • By Boris Pasternak
    • Narrated By Phillip Madoc
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (7)
    Performance
    (6)
    Story
    (6)

    On they went singing 'Eternal Memory', and whenever they stopped, the sound of their feet, the horses and the gusts of wind seemed to carry on their singing - Doctor Zhivago is the epic novel of Russia in the throes of revolution and one of the greatest love stories ever told. Yuri Zhivago, physician and poet, wrestles with the new order and confronts the changes cruel experience has made in him and the anguish of being torn between the loves of two women.

    Boris Pasternak, 1958: 'for his important achievement both in contemporary lyrical poetry and in the field of the great Russian epic tradition'
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