Bittersweet Honors

Behind the awards: tales of pain, lost promise and recognition too long deferred

The myth is simple and satisfying: genius labors long and hard, achieves brilliant success, wins Nobel Prize, basks in glory. But prizewinners' stories are rarely so straightforward. This year's controversial Peace Prize, for example, which was shared by Yasser Arafat, Yitzhak Rabin and Shimon Peres, has triggered as much controversy as celebration. And for some of the other laureates, there are, behind the Nobel Committee's glowing citations, tales of recognition too long deferred, of promise lost, of pain and tragedy.


Often the winner of a Nobel Prize is an obscure academic, noticed by few in his community until he is...

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