2018 Nobel Prize in Literature cancelled over Academy sex scandal

STOCKHOLM, May 4 (Reuters) - No Nobel Prize for Literature will be given this year, because of a scandal over sexual misconduct allegations that has seen a string of board members resign from the board of the Swedish Academy that makes the award, the Academy said on Friday.

"The present decision was arrived at in view of the currently diminished Academy and the reduced public confidence in the Academy," it said in a statement.

"Work on the selection of a laureate is at an advanced stage and will continue as usual in the months ahead but the Academy needs time to regain its full complement, engage a larger number of active members and regain confidence in its work, before the next Literature Prize winner is declared."

The Academy said it aimed to award two prizes in 2019.

The council of prestigious authors and linguists has been dealing with the fallout of allegations of sexual misconduct by the husband of one of its members and of the leaks of names of some prize-winners ahead of the formal announcements.

Photographer and cultural figure Jean-Claude Arnault, who is married to Academy member and author Katarina Frostenson, denies all allegations, regarding both sexual misconduct and leaking the names of laureates, his lawyer told Reuters on Thursday. A postponement or cancellation of the prize is rare but not unprecedented.

There were no awards between 1940 and 1943, due to World War Two, while the American novelist William Faulkner received his prize a year late in 1950 when two prizes were handed out.

The rules of the foundation that administers the will of dynamite inventor Alfred Nobel mean prizes can be reserved until the following year. (Reporting by Stockholm Newsroom Editing by Kevin Liffey)

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Memorable Nobel Peace Prize winners through history
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Memorable Nobel Peace Prize winners through history
2015 Nobel Peace Prize Tunisian General Labour Union (UGTT)'s secretary general, Houcine Abassi, poses for a photo in Sao Paulo on October 11, 2015. Abassi was awarded the Peace Prize along with the other members of the Tunisian National Dialogue Quartet -Tunisian Confederation of Industry, Trade and Handicrafts (UTICA) Tunisian Human Rights League (LTDH) and Tunisian Order of Lawyers--the Norwegian Nobel Commitee announced, for helping rescue the only democracy that emerged from the Arab Spring, in a hugely symbolic show of support for the country after a wave of jihadist attacks. AFP PHOTO / MIGUELSCHINCARIOL (Photo credit should read Miguel Schincariol/AFP/Getty Images)
President of the Tunisian Human Rights League (LTDH), Abdessattar Ben Moussa, poses for pictures in Tunis on October 9, 2015, after he was awarded the 2015 Nobel Peace Prize with other members of Tunisian National Dialogue Quartet. The Norwegian Nobel Commitee announced that Tunisian mediators of the so called National Dialogue Quartet (Tunisian General Labour Union UGTT, Confederation of Industry, Tunisian Trade and Handicrafts UTICA, Tunisian Human Rights League LTDH and Tunisian Order of Lawyers) won the 2015 Nobel Peace Prize. AFP PHOTO / FETHI BELAID (Photo credit should read FETHI BELAID/AFP/Getty Images)
A combo of pictures taken on October 9, 2015 January 7, 2015 in Tunis shows (LtoR from up) President of the Tunisian employers union (UTICA) Wided Bouchamaoui; Tunisian lawyer Fadhel Mahfoudh; President of the Tunisian Human Rights League (LTDH), Abdessattar ben Moussa and Secretary General of the Tunisian General Labour Union (UGTT) Houcine Abbassi. Tunisian mediators of the socalled National Dialogue Quartet (Tunisian General Labour Union UGTT, Tunisian Confederation of Industry, Trade and Handicrafts UTICA, Tunisian Human Rights League LTDH and Tunisian Order of Lawyers) won the 2015 Nobel Peace Prize, the Norwegian Nobel Commitee announced on October 9, 2015. AFP PHOTO / FETHI BELAID (Photo credit should read FETHI BELAID/AFP/Getty Images)
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