The 1969 Nobel — which was awarded to Samuel Beckett — was apparently a showdown between Beckett and André Malraux.
The complete list of 1969 nominees is now available. There were 103 authors nominated, including 28 first-time nominees who are marked with an X in the list.
Among the first-time nominees were writers who went on to win — such as Elias Canetti and Alexandr Solzhenitsyn — and some who didn’t, including Egyptian playwright and novelist Tawfiq al-Hakim.
It notes only that he was nominated by Shawky Deif.
Al-Hakim is remembered as a playwright — and it’s generally agreed that’s where he had the most impact — but he also wrote essays, memoir, short stories, and biting novels. Last year, the long-running Penguin Classics series finally released its first “classic” novel translated from Arabic: Al-Hakim’s Return of the Spirit, conveyed into English by William Hutchins.
Taha Hussein was also nominated in 1969, although he was not a newcomer to the list, and was the first Arabophone author to make his way into Nobel nominations, for which he was nominated at least fourteen times.