First female head of Nobel's literature award body dies

File picture of Sara Danius. AFP Photo

Sara Danius, the first female head of the prestigious Swedish body that awards the Nobel Prize in Literature, has died. She was 57.

Her family told Swedish news agency TT that Danius passed away early Saturday following a long illness. Swedish media said she had breast cancer.

Danius, who was a literary critic, professor, and writer, served as the first female permanent secretary of the Swedish Academy between 2015 and 2018.

She published a book last year on singer-songwriter Bob Dylan having played a central role in the decision to award the 2016 literature award to the US musician.

Danius left the Swedish Academy, established in 1786, in February in the wake of sex abuse and financial crime scandal that broke out in 2017. She wasn't accused of wrongdoing. 

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