These individuals did their best and succeeded in raising the bar for writers all over the world. However, they did not win the Nobel Prize for whatever reason but definitely deserved it.
1. Jorge Luis Borges
Even though Jorge Luis Borges managed to bag the first ever Pulitzer Prize, he did not win the Nobel Prize even though was considered by the committee for several years. They decided against it because he supported Pinochet but awarded others who believed in dictators like Stalin.
2. Vladimir Nabokov
Vladimir Nabokov wrote the world-renowned novel called Lolita. Apart from that, he wrote many more books and translated poetry beautifully. Even though he was nominated for the Nobel Prize in 1974, he lost to two authors who were surprisingly, a part of the committee.
3. W. H. Auden
W. H. Auden will continue to be the best poets of all time. He was honored several times and won both the National Book Award and the Pulitzer. The Committee allegedly turned the poet down because supposedly, he did not decode a book by Dag Hammarskjold properly and also because he suggested that the other writer was homosexual.
4. Robert Frost
Robert Frost was undoubtedly the most outstanding American poet of the 20th Century. He won four Pulitzers and was awarded doctorates from prestigious universities like Harvard, Oxford, Princeton, Cambridge and many others. It will not be an exaggeration to say that his poems will be remembered till the English language dies out. Nobody really knows why the Nobel Committed ignored him.
5. Emile Zola
Emile Zola wrote about 30 books and they were all incredible enough to win Pulitzers in todays day and time. He was considered by the Nobel Committee twice but did not win. The reason is given below.
6. Henrik Ibsen
Henrik Ibsen was considered for the prize many times but because the committee could not understand Alfred Nobel’s will properly, he never won. Ibsen is considered to be the best writer of modern drama till date but the committee felt that he was not pushing literature in the “idyllic direction”.
7. Marcel Proust
Marcel Proust wrote the epic novel whose title translates to In Search of Lost Time. People gush on about the former today but obviously the Nobel Committee did not think it was good enough and he lost to Knut Hamsun.
8. James Joyce
This Irish writer, who was considered to be at par with W. B. Yeats, undoubtedly deserved to win the prize. He thought Finnegans Wake was his finest novel but he is celebrated for novels like Ulysses today.
9. Leo Tolstoy
Leo Tolstoy wrote legendary novels like Anna Karenina and War and Peace. He is considered to be among the greatest authors in history but the committee once again felt that he was not pushing literature in the “idyllic direction”.
10. Mark Twain
Mark Twain was in running 10 times but never won the prize. He introduced readers to Huckleberry Fin and Tom Sawyer but lost to authors like Rudyard Kipling, Sully Prudhomme and Henryk Sienkiewicz. He was a world-renowned novelist, essayist, humorist and critic.