Equally important to our understanding of history and humanity are the great works of literature. The Nobel Prize for literature recognizes modern classics and the efforts of authors to bridge gaps between different cultures, time periods and styles. In addition to the presentation speeches and the Nobel lectures, these volumes also provide brief biographies and the Nobel laureates' own accounts of their many years of preparation and effort that led to their achievements. Below is a list of the prizewinners during the period 2001-2005. (2001) Sir Vidiadhar Surajprasad Naipaul - for having united perceptive narrative and incorruptible scrutiny in works that compel us to see the presence of suppressed histories; (2002) Imre Kertesz - for writing that upholds the fragile experience of the individual against the barbaric arbitrariness of history; (2003) John M Coetzee - who in innumerable guises portrays the surprising involvement of the outsider; (2004) Elfriede Jelinek - for her musical flow of voices and counter-voices in vels and plays that with extraordinary linguistic zeal reveal the absurdity of society's cliches and their subjugating power; and, (2005) Harold Pinter - who in his plays uncovers the precipice under everyday prattle and forces entry into oppression's closed rooms.