Who Was the First Indian-Born Author to Win a Nobel Prize?


Quick Answer

The first Indian-born author to win a Nobel Prize in Literature was the poet Rabindranath Tagore. He won the award in 1913, most notably for "Song Offerings," a 1912 collection of English poems based on his 1910 collection of Bengali poems entitled "Gitanjali."

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Full Answer

The idealistic and spiritual themes of "Song Offerings" are sometimes referred to as "The English 'Gitanjali'" and were internationally well-received. Tagore is largely credited with introducing Indian culture to the West. In addition to poetry, Tagore wrote short stories, plays, travelogues and thousands of songs, and he took up painting toward the end of his career as well. He was known for his ardent humanistic beliefs and opposition to British imperialism. Tagore’s Nobel Prize and some of his personal effects were stolen from Visva-Bharati University in March 2004.

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