The jury gave Jelinek the lucrative award on Thursday "for her musical flow of voices and counter-voices in novels and plays that with extraordinary linguistic zeal reveal the absurdity of society's cliches and their subjugating power".
The tenth woman to win the Nobel Literature Prize, Jelinek is most famous as the author of The Piano Teacher. But her texts defy exact definition, as they contain prose, poetry, incantation and hymn, theatrical scenes and filmic sequences.
One of her basic themes is the inability of women to "fully come to life in a world where they are painted over with stereotypical images", the academy said in its citation.
In The Piano Teacher, as in a series of other novels, Jelinek presents a pitiless world of violence and submission, hunter and prey, the jury said.
She will receive the Nobel Prize, which consists of the prize money, a gold medal and a diploma, from Sweden's King Carl XVI Gustaf at a formal ceremony in Stockholm on 10 December, the anniversary of the death of Alfred Nobel, the founder of the Nobel Prizes, in 1896.
The Literature Prize was the fourth of the six coveted awards to be handed out this week. On Monday, the Nobel Medicine Prize went to US research duo Richard Axel and Linda Buck for their pioneering work on mammals' sense of smell.
On Tuesday the Physics Prize went to US scientists David Gross, David Politzer and Frank Wilczek for pioneering work in explaining quarks, nature's tiniest building blocks.
On Wednesday, the Chemistry Prize went to Aaron Ciechanover and Avram Hershko of Israel and Irwin Rose of the United States for groundbreaking biochemistry work that has major implications for the treatment of serious illnesses, especially cancer.
The Peace Prize will be announced on Friday, and the final prize, that for economics, will be announced on Monday.