Today in our poetry news round-up we take a look at some of the favourites to be named the two winners of the Nobel Prize for Literature ahead of the official announcement.
The Nobel Prize for Literature
It has been a while since we have heard anything about the Nobel Prize for Literature. Things have in fact been very quiet from the members of the Swedish Academy who make the decision regarding the winner since they were plagued by a case of sexual harassment last year and decided to postpone the awards ceremony.
Accusations were made last year against the husband of one of the judges on the panel, this in combination with a scandal over an information leak led to the decision being made by the committee to postpone the award for a year and deal with these issues first. Now the wait is almost over and on Thursday at 1pm, the Swedish Academy is expected to announce not one but two names to be awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature – the winners for both this year and last year. There are a total of 210 writers who have been nominated.
In the run-up to the announcement the world and of course the bookmakers are speculating on just who the winners might be. Based on previous years decisions the betting is that the poet or writer who will eventually be named the winner of the Nobel Prize of literature (times two) will be amongst the group of favourites but will not be the absolute favourite.
For several years Philip Roth, Murakami Haruki of Japan and Ngugi Wa Thiong’o from Kenya have been names that have appeared in the top 10 list of favourites. However, this year two Hungarians have also joined the list of possibles. Good odds are being put on Péter Nádas and László Krasznahorkai to be in with a change of being named. The last Hungarian to win a Nobel Prize was Imre Kertész in 2002.
The Chinese writer Deng Xiaohua, who is better known as Can Xue, is also considered to be in with a big chance of being named, she is being ranked fourth currently on some of the betting sites. Her books have been translated and also published outside of China and her work is widely acclaimed in the West.
The list of other popular choices to be named a Nobel Prize for Literature winner include Anne Carson the Canadian Essayist, Margaret Attwood the Canadian writer and poet who is responsible for The Handmaid’s Tale, Maryse Conde who is a French, Guadeloupean writer and two more Chinese writers poet Yang Lian and writer Yu Hua.
The winner in 2016 took everyone by surprise, the singer and musician Bob Dylan. However, the prize reverted back to its more traditional path in 2017 when Kazuo Ishiguro the Japanese writer was named.
Whilst the winners are due to be announced on Thursday they will have to wait until December before they are awarded their prizes. The presentation ceremony takes place on 10th December; the anniversary of the death of Alfred Nobel. The King of Sweden is responsible for handing out the science, literature and economics prizes whilst the peace prize is awarded in Oslo by the Norwegian Nobel Committee.