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Two members resign from the Nobel literature prize committee

More criticism hits the troubled Nobel literature prize as two external committee members quit on Monday.

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Nobel Prize committee members Kristoffer Leandoer and Gun-Britt Sundström quit on Monday, the latest in a series of scandals the Nobel Prize for literature has faced.

Leandoer expressed frustrations in the Swedish newspaper Svenska Dagbladet over the Academy’s slow progress on reform, saying he had “neither the patience nor the time” to continue waiting.

“The Academy and I have a different perspective on time, one year is far too long in my life and far too short in the life of the Academy,” he wrote.

Leandoer did note that his resignation had nothing to do with the controversy surrounding the Academy’s decision to award Austrian writer Peter Handke the Nobel Prize for literature in 2019. 

This wasn’t the case for Sundström, who released a statement in another Swedish newspaper, Dagens Nyheter, saying that she did not agree with the Academy’s view that “literature is above politics” in regards to Handke’s selection.

The reform committee, made up of four members of the Swedish Academy and five external members, was established in the wake of a sex scandal involving the husband of a former Academy member and caused the 2018 Prize for Literature to be delayed for a year.


After the resignations, the committee is left with just three external members.

“We are grateful for the significant effort they made during the year and we are now reviewing how the work of the Nobel Committee will be organized for the 2020 Nobel Prize in literature, “ Permanent Secretary of the Swedish Academy Mats Malm said in an official statement.