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Announcement of Nobel Prize in Literature coming up soon

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Indeed, next Thursday the secretary of the Nobel Committee at the stroke of 1 p.m. (local time) will open those doors and announce the name. Yes, but who? One thing is for sure, it cannot be a Swedish author this year as we had one last year.

Have you guys any suggestions?

Anyway, a couple of minutes past 1 p.m. your local Nobel reporter will tell you.

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Many thanks, Pamela, we rely on you for our Nobel news hot off the presses. :)

This article lays out the current odds. I rather enjoy seeing Roth snubbed every year, but it would be a real crime not to recognize William Trevor - as the article notes he's in his eighties. I'll be pulling for him.

The Swedish Academy rivals the Vatican for secrecy, keeping official nominations under lock and key until half a century has elapsed. This leaves prize-watchers studying lists drawn up by bookies like Ladbrokes, which places Roth at 16/1 as of this writing -- up from last year’s odds of 25/1 though still lagging some way behind the early favorite, Haruki Murakami at 2/1.

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Thanks, Dirac, for that article, very interesting. Dacia Maraini, no, dont think so, but it made me take out an old volume I bought while living in London "The age of discontent" 1963. Well, now we have to proceed by eliminating - wont be a Swede, that is for sure, and certainly not a poet. The Nobel Committee is not supposed to be political, yet they are accused of just that. Now, I want you all to think "Arab Spring". Then we have Adonis, the Syrian poet who has been mentioned for years. But think of the state Syria is in right now! Further afield in Arabland we have Algeria and Assia Djebar. That is the woman all right!

No, I have not had inside info - in fact there have been a couple of scandals when the details leaked to the press, but not any more. Yes, it is rather like the Vatican... Or of course Murakami who is another possibility. Still, I think I place my money on Djebar.

Lets wait for those gilt doors to open and Mr. Englund will announce ... Djebar! I will post the news immediately.

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I'd add the following (mostly longshots) to Adonis & Djebar:

Peter Nádas

Don DeLillo

Anne Carson

Juan Goytisolo

Karl Ove Knausgard

Alice Munro

Peter Stamm

Cesar Aira (whom I believe is popular in Japan with Murakami readers)

Here's Nicerodd's list of odds:



A friend suggests that Elias Khoury, Tahar Ben Jelloun, and Amin Maalouf might be good bets, although they write in French which might count against them.


samples, from Nádas's Parallel Stories:

By himself or herself, each human being is a relatively transparent, mechanical system—she firmly believed this. Only when together with others do the systems become complicated... Stories about the soul and about social relations scarcely touch each other; rarely is there a direct connection between them; they are two different categories written side by side. At every moment they must be peeled apart. Which is what everybody does, all the time. This she firmly believed. Mrs. Szemzo always thought very abstractly. If she wished to lighten up, she’d smirk and simper to conform to other people’s tastes. Only after this thought did she slam down her handbag. Right into the drawer. Making a loud thump.

& Cesar Aira:

THESE PAST WEEKS, since before coming to Paris, I’ve been looking for a plot for the novel I want to write: a novel of successive adventures, full of anomalies and inventions. Until now nothing occurred to me, except the title, which I’ve had for years and which I cling to with blank obstinacy: “The Seamstress and the Wind.” The heroine has to be a seamstrees, at a time when there were seamstresses...and the wind her antagonist, she sedentary, he a traveler, or the other way around: the art a traveler, the turbulence fixed. She the adventure, he the thread of the adventures ...

Alice Munro, Amundsen:

On the bench outside the station, I sat and waited. The station had been open when the train arrived, but now it was locked. Another woman sat at the end of the bench, holding between her knees a string bag full of parcels wrapped in oiled paper. Meat–raw meat. I could smell it.

* * *

Then there was silence, the air like ice. Brittle-looking birch trees with black on their white bark, and some small, untidy evergreens, rolled up like sleepy bears. The frozen lake not level but mounded along the shore, as if they waves had turned to ice in the act of falling ...

“Where are you heading?” the meat woman called to me. “Visiting hours are over at three.”

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Well, yes, Chinese writer Mo Yan - I have heard about him, but I have not yet read anything by him. He is translated into several languages, Swedish, English, French and Spanish as well as Japanese. Two of his works are available in Swedish, "The red field" and "Garlic ballads". They might of course have other titles in English.

Less than an hour has passed since the announcement - so far there has been a positive reaction - I saw several interviews on TV with book people and they seemed pleased enough.

So Philip Roth has got to wait another year...

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