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Nobel Prize Literature on CD

See also: Nobel Prize Literature on Film

If you feel you don't have any time and you still want to get cultured, try playing these books on CD while you commute to work or cook dinner. Hearing it read adds a new dimension to the book. Unfortunately Nobel prizewinners, particularly if they are nonenglish speaking, don't have their books recorded as often as best-selling authors do.

 
Camus, Albert
The Plague
This novel is set in the Algerian town of Oran which is beset by a plague, over which the inhabitants have no control. Camus, awarded the Nobel Prize in 1957 was a Frenchman born and raised in Algeria.
 
Camus, Albert
The Stranger
When a young Algerian named Meursault kills a man, his subsequent imprisonment and trial are puzzling and absurd. The apparently amoral Meursault--who puts little stock in ideas like love and God--seems to be on trial less for his murderous actions, and more for what the authorities believe is his deficient character. Camus, awarded the Nobel Prize in 1957 was a Frenchman born and raised in Algeria.
 
Gao, Xingjian
Soul Mountain
This is a downloadable audio book available through netlibrary with a library card. Venerable Daoist masters, Buddhist nuns, mythical Wild Men, and deadly Qichun snakes populate this bold, lyrical novel, an extraordinary work of profound beauty by the winner of the Nobel Prize in Literature in 2000.
 
Golding, William, 1911-1993
Lord of the Flies
This is the classic novel of a troupe of English boarding school boys stranded on a desert island and their downward spiral into savagery. Golding was awarded the Nobel Prize in 1983.
 
Gordimer, Nadine
Beethoven was one-sixteenth black and other stories
A collection of short stories that focus on how origins, inheritances, and histories--and the loss of them--are inescapable. Nadine Gordimer of South Africa was awarded the Nobel Prize in 1991.
 
Grass, Gunter
Peeling the Onion: A Memoir
Nobel Prize-winning author Günter Grass remembers his early life, from his boyhood in a cramped two-room apartment in Danzig through his time as a German tank gunner in World War II to the late 1950s, when his novel, The tin drum, was published.
 
Grass, Gunter
The Tin Drum
Confined to a sanitarium in the early 1950s, Oskar Matzerath begins to chronicle his life in Danzig before the Second World War. Fond of his prized possession, a tin drum, Oskar protects it ferociously and maintains a stable childhood. However, his father's involvement in the Nazi party and the events of the Holocaust begin to take their toll on Oskar's fragile, young mind.
 
Heaney, Seamus
Beowulf
Seamus Heaney (Nobel Prize 1995) translated and reads this version of the epic poem Beowulf.
 
Kipling, Rudyard
The Jungle Book
Here's a book to get your kids started on world literature! Kipling was an early Nobel prize winner in 1907.
 
Kipling, Rudyard
Just So Stories
Another great book to listen to as a family on your next road trip to the beach. How the elephant got his trunk, the camel his hump and the rhinoceros his skin.
 
Naipaul, V.S.
Magic Seeds
A present-moment novel that takes readers into the hearts and minds of those who use terrorism as an ideal and a way of life, this is a moving tale of a man searching for his life and fearing he has wasted it, and the conflicts between the rich and the poor. V.S. Naipaul was awarded the Nobel Prize in 2001.
 
Pamuk, Orhan
The Museum of Innocence
Taking place in Istanbul in the 1970s, Kemal chronicles his tragic love affair with a compulsive collection of objects, a museum of one man's broken heart.
Pamuk, from Turkey, was awarded the Nobel Prize in 2006.
 
Pamuk, Orhan
My Name is Red
At once a fiendishly devious mystery, a beguiling love story, and a brilliant symposium on the power of art, My Name Is Red is a transporting tale set amid the splendor and religious intrigue of sixteenth-century Istanbul.
Pamuk, from Turkey, was awarded the Nobel Prize in 2006.
 
Pamuk, Orhan
Snow
In the middle of winter, a poet and journalist travels to the remote city of Kars, on the border of Turkey, after many years of political exile in Western Europe. Pamuk, from Turkey, was awarded the Nobel Prize in 2006.
 
Pinter, Harold
Betrayal: a drama
Harold Pinter, from the United Kingdom, was awarded the Nobel Prize in 2005. The play Betrayal begins in 1977, with a meeting between adulterous lovers, Emma and Jerry, two years after their affair has ended. It then moves back in time, through the states of their affair, with the play ending in the house of Emma and Robert, her husband, who is Jerry's best friend.
 
Saramago, José
Blindness
An epidemic of blindness strikes a city and the result is chaos, the government issuing shoot-to-kill orders. Much of the action is seen through the eyes of a woman who claims to be blind so she won't be separated from her husband.
 
Steinbeck, John (Nobel Prize 1962)
East of Eden
Adam and Charles Trask are raised by their stern father to become soldiers. But even as boys, they are at war. Adam's gentle passivity enrages the fiercely competitive Charles, who is sure his father favors Adam. Cathy Ames is beautiful but amoral; she uses the world to get what she wants. When Adam falls under her spell, she become a force that will poison both brothers and the future generations of two families.
 
Steinbeck, John (Nobel Prize 1962)
The Grapes of Wrath
A classic novel about the plight of American farmers who were forced off their farms by drought and foreclosure during the 1930's.
 
The Great Poets: W.B. Yeats
William Butler Yeats, an Irish poet and playwright, was awarded the Nobel Prize in 1923, mainly based on his plays. His later works include the poetry for which he is most remembered.