Beckett, Samuel

Samuel Beckett, Irish novelist and playwright, 1906-1989

A resident of Paris for most of his adult life, Beckett wrote in both French and English. His work offers a bleak, tragi-comic outlook on human existence, often coupled with black comedy and gallows humour, and became increasingly minimalist in his later career. He is considered one of the last modernist writers, and one of the key figures in what Martin Esslin called the "Theatre of the Absurd". Apart from Beckett's well-known plays as "Waiting for Godot" (premièred in 1953), he also wrote short stories, and poems. He was awarded the 1969 Nobel Prize in Literature "for his writing, which—in new forms for the novel and drama—in the destitution of modern man acquires its elevation".