JRR Tolkien snubbed by 1961 Nobel jury

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Newly-released documents have revealed that novelist JRR Tolkien was passed over for the Nobel literature prize in 1961, after his storytelling in the Lord of the Rings trilogy was described as second rate. Declassified after 50 years, the papers show that Tolkien was nominated for the award by fellow author CS Lewis but that the Nobel prize jury had said of his work: “The result has not in any way measured up to storytelling of the highest quality”. The documents also reveal that British writer Graham Greene – who never won the Nobel prize – was the jury's runner-up, followed by Karen Blixen, the Danish writer of Out of Africa. Other prominent authors put forward for the Nobel prize in 1961 were EM Forster and Lawrence Durrell.

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