In the past 115 years, the Nobel Prize in Literature has only been awarded to 113 people. The laureates of the past include literary giants like William Butler Yeats, Rudyard Kipling, Ernest Hemingway, and William Faulkner. Before today, no Americans had won the award since Toni Morrison in 1993, and as far as I can tell, no popular musicians had ever won the award. But today, Bob Dylan became a Nobel laureate.
The New York Times reports that Dylan was granted the prize this morning for “having created new poetic expressions within the great American song tradition.” Sara Danius, the Swedish Academy’s permanent secretary, called “a great poet in the English-speaking tradition,” as Rolling Stone reports. Dylan is reportedly considered an unexpected choice, beating out frontrunners like Philip Roth, Don DeLillo, and Haruki Murakami.