Who Will Win the Nobel Prize in Literature?

It’s October, and it’s not just the perfect weather to read great books but it’s also the time for the announcement of the Nobel Prize in Literature. The date for Man Booker Prize has been fixed on 13th October and traditionally, Nobel Prize is declared before the Man Booker Prize. Although, no date has been formally announced yet but betting brokers expect it to on a Thursday, possibly 8th October. So, the literary circles are filled up with guesses as who might be the winner for this years Nobel Prize in Literature.

According to the website of the Swedish Academy, for the 2015 Nobel Prize in Literature, they have received 259 proposals, resulting in 198 nominated persons. Among them, 36 are first time nominees. One of these 198 individuals will be awarded the 2015 Nobel Prize in Literature.

According to the latest data released by U.K. based betting website Ladbrokes, whose bidders have made some lucky guesses in the run-up to the prize in recent years, Svetlana Aleksijevitj is leading with 5/1 odds followed by Haruki Murakami with 6/1 odds.Ladbrokes comes up with the list by picking up from scoops from the literary circles, social media, literary blogs and other literary prizes.

Svetlana Aleksijevitj  – 5/1

Svetlana Alexandrovna Alexievich is a Belarusian investigative journalist and prose writer.Her first book War’s Unwomanly Face came out in 1985.This novel is made up of monologues of women in the war speaking about the aspects of World War II that had never been related before. Another book, The Last Witnesses: the Book of Unchildlike Stories describes personal memories of children during war time. The war seen through women’s and children’s eyes revealed a whole new world of feelings. Her most notable works in English translation are about first-hand accounts from the war in Afghanistan (Zinky Boys) and a highly praised oral history of the Chernobyl disaster (Voices from Chernobyl).

She was also a top contender last year with 6/1 odds.This year she has come up as most likely contender for the Nobel Prize by the bookmakers.

Haruki Murakami – 6/1

Haruki Murakami has been the top favorite among the publishers for quite some years for the Nobel Prize but somehow it continues to elude him.

Asked by one fan on his thoughts about being called the frontrunner for the Nobel Prize in Literature, Mr. Murakami said it was “quite annoying.”

“It isn’t like there’s an official shortlist, it’s just private bookmakers coming up with these odds. It’s not as if this were a horse race,” he replied

He is regarded as a kind of literary rockstar and each of his books sells millions of copies and translated in many languages. So, in a way he doesn’t really need the recognition of the Nobel Prize to reach the readers world over.

Ngũgĩ wa Thiong’o – 6/1

Ngũgĩ wa Thiong’o is a Kenyan writer, formerly working in English and now working in Gikuyu. His work includes novels, plays, short stories, and essays, ranging from literary and social criticism to children’s literature. His name has topped charts in recent years, the Kenyan author made his name in the English-speaking world in 1964 with “Weep not, Child,” a novel set against the backdrop of the Mau Mau rebellion. The author spent a year in prison in the 1970s, followed by some decades in exile, but returned to Kenya at the beginning of the 21st century.

Philip Roth – 10/1

Philip Milton Roth is considered as the greatest living American novelist. He first gained attention with the 1959 novella Goodbye, Columbus, an irreverent and humorous portrait of American Jewish life for which he received the U.S. National Book Award for Fiction. His profile rose significantly in 1969 after the publication of the controversial Portnoy’s Complaint, the humorous and sexually explicit psychoanalytical monologue of “a lust-ridden, mother-addicted young Jewish bachelor,” filled with “intimate, shameful detail, and coarse, abusive language.”

His name has topped the charts for last few years, so will he make it this year?

Joyce Carol Oates – 12/1

Joyce Carol Oates published her first book in 1963 and has since published over forty novels, as well as a number of plays and novellas, and many volumes of short stories, poetry, and nonfiction. She has won many awards for her writing, including theNational Book Award, for her novel Them (1969), two O. Henry Awards, and the National Humanities Medal. Her novels Black Water (1992), What I Lived For (1994), Blonde (2000), and short story collections The Wheel of Love and Other Stories (1970) and Lovely, Dark, Deep: Stories (2014) were each nominated for the Pulitzer Prize.

Her fans often allege that she has not been awarded the Nobel prize due to her popularity.

John Banville – 14/1

William John Banville, who writes as John Banville and sometimes Benjamin Blackis an Irish novelist, adapter of dramas, and screenwriter. Banville is considered by critics as a master stylist of English, and his writing has been described as perfectly crafted, beautiful, dazzling.

Banville published his first book, a collection of short stories titled Long Lankin, in 1970. He has disowned his first published novel, Nightspawn, describing it as “crotchety, posturing, absurdly pretentious”.

Banville is highly scathing of all of his work, stating of his books: “I hate them all … I loathe them. They’re all a standing embarrassment.” Instead of dwelling on the past he is continually looking forward, “You have to crank yourself up every morning and think about all the awful stuff you did yesterday, and how you can compensate for that by doing better today.”

He however says, “I’m quite proud of my Benjamin Black books, from the point of view of a craftsman;”

So, we are not sure whether he expects Benjamin Black or John Banville to win if ever he wins the Nobel prize.

Jon Fosse – 10/1

He is one of Europe’s most performed dramatists and his works have been translated into more than forty languages. His name suddenly surged up the list of probables due to Ladbrokes in 2013 and before that he quite and outsider in Nobel Prize contender list. He continued to be in the list of top contenders in the next two years. After the name of Alice Munro was announced for Nobel Prize, he said “But the simple truth is that I was very pleased when the news came that it wasn’t me. Normally, they give it to very old writers, and there’s a wisdom to that – you receive it when it won’t affect your writing.”

Adunis -16/1

Ali Ahmad Said Esber, also known by the pen name Adonis or Adunis is a Syrian poet, essayist and translator considered one of the most influential and dominant Arab poets of the modern era. Adonis, who has lived in exile in Paris since the 1960s, has been suggested as a worthy winner for more than a decade. Many consider him the greatest living writer in Arabic and applaud his poetry, which has not only taken a cue from French surrealists but also from Middle Eastern symbolism and mythology. Since the start of the Syrian war, he has been described as a recipient who could gain political weight, but the academy says it doesn’t consider any factor outside of literature when picking a winner.

Ismail Kadaré – 16/1

Ismail Kadaré is an Albanian novelist and poet. He has been a leading literary figure in Albania since the 1960s. He focused on short stories until the publication of his first novel, The General of the Dead Army. In 1996 he became a lifetime member of the Academy of Moral and Political Sciences of France. Kadaré has been mentioned as the possible recipient of Nobel Prize in Literarure several times. Infact, so often has his name been mentioned that many people believe he already have won it.

Many of his books were banned during the thirty years he spent as a writer in communist Albania. Among them was arguably his best novel, Nëpunësi i pallatit të ëndrrave (1981; Eng. The Palace of Dreams, 1990), which draws an obvious parallel between Hoxha’s regime and a fictional country where dreams are examined for signs of political dissidence.

— Compiled from various sources.

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