UK's playwright Pinter wins Nobel literature prize

British playwright Harold Pinter, whose juxtaposition of the brutal and the banal dubbed an adjective that bears his name, won the 2005 Nobel Prize in literature Thursday.

The Swedish Academy said Pinter was an author "who in his plays uncovers the precipice under everyday prattle and forces entry into oppression's closed rooms."

In its citation, the academy said the 75-year-old playwright was one who restored the art form of writing plays. His works include "The Room," "The Birthday Party" and "The Dumb Waiter" and his breakthrough work, "The Caretaker."

"Pinter restored theatre to its basic elements: an enclosed space and unpredictable dialogue where people are at the mercy of each other and pretense crumbles," the academy said.

Pinter is the first Briton to win the literature award since V.S. Naipaul won it in 2001, reports the AP.

According to Bloomberg, the prize, worth 10 million kronor ($1.3 million), was first awarded in 1901. It was created in the will of Alfred Nobel, a Swede who invented dynamite. Nobel also set up prizes for achievements in medicine, physics, chemistry and peace.

Last year's literature award went to Austria's Elfriede Jelinek for her socially critical novels and plays. Past winners include Nadine Gordimer, Ernest Hemingway and Winston Churchill. The award is formally handed over at a ceremony in Stockholm on Dec. 10, the anniversary of Nobel's death in 1896.

The Swedish Academy, which picks the winner on behalf of the Nobel Foundation, was founded in 1786 to develop the Swedish language. The academy keeps nominations for the literature prize secret for at least 50 years.