Public fights, resignations and a sex scandal: what’s going on with the Nobel prize?

The normally secretive members of the Swedish Academy are embroiled in all-out war – but the collapse of this self-important bulwark of patriarchy and privilege is not over yet

The Nobel Prize for literature has been shaken by the worst scandal in its history. In a row which brings together sexism, money and privilege, along with levels of spite that would shame a kindergarten, three of the 18 members stepped down last week, in protest because they lost a vote to exclude a fourth member, Katarina Frostenson, a poet whose husband stands accused of 18 separate instances of sexual harassment, including rape.

By Thursday night, the resulting public scandal had led to departures of both Frostenson and the permanent secretary Sara Danius – who had been among her accusers – after they were forced out after a three hour meeting.

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