Because of the current scandal within the Swedish Academy involving allegations of sexual assault made against Jean-Claude Arnault, who is the husband of Katarina Frostenson a member of the Swedish Academy, this year there will be no awarding of a prize in literature.
Nearly 100 Swedish writers, actors, journalists and other cultural figures have formed the New Academy. This group will be awarding prizes this year in a similar fashion as the Nobel. “We have founded the New Academy to remind people that literature and culture at large should promote democracy, transparency, empathy and respect, without privilege, bias arrogance or sexism,” they said in a statement.
“In a time when human values are increasingly being called into question, literature becomes an even more important counterforce to stop the culture of silence and oppression. The New Academy regards this as so important that the world’s greatest literature prize should still be awarded in 2018.” he New is looking for “a writer who has told the story of ‘humans in the world’ – in contrast to the Nobel, which is intended to honour the writer who has penned, in the words of Alfred Nobel’s will, “the most outstanding work in an ideal direction”.
Selected nominees will then be put to a public vote, and the four most popular authors will be critiqued by a jury that includes editor Ann Pålsson, Gothenburg University professor Lisbeth Larsson and librarian Gunilla Sandin. The winner will be announced October, the same month the Nobel is announced.
“In awarding this prize, we are staging a protest. We want to show people that serious cultural work does not have to occur in a context of coercive language, irregularities or abuse,” said the new organisation.
On 11 December, the day after the winner is presented with their award at a formal celebration, the New Academy will be dissolved.