Lessing publisher to deliver Nobel speech

Mon Dec 3, 2007 12:02pm EST
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STOCKHOLM (Reuters) - British author Doris Lessing's publisher will read out the 2007 literature laureate's Nobel lecture in the Swedish capital this week because Lessing is too ill to pre-record a speech, the Nobel Foundation said on Monday.

The foundation, which had said Lessing would be unable to attend the prize ceremony because of ill health, said on Monday Nicholas Pearson would read out Lessing's address on December 7.

"She has back problems," foundation spokeswoman Annika Pontikis said.

The lectures by each winner are a highlight of Nobel Week celebrations, which include ceremonies in Stockholm and Oslo to award the 10 million Swedish crown ($1.57 million) prize.

Austrian novelist Elfriede Jelinek, who won the literature prize in 2004, and British playwright Harold Pinter, the 2005 winner, also missed the ceremony but both pre-recorded their traditional lectures for airing during Nobel week.

(Reporting by Sarah Edmonds)

<p>A portrait of Nobel prize winner of literature, Doris Lessing is seen at the fair booth of German publishing house "Hoffmann und Campe" at the Frankfurt book fair, October 11, 2007. REUTERS/Kai Pfaffenbach</p>