Nobel forecasting

Although the Nobel committee has not yet set a date to award its annual Nobel Prize in Literature, the winner may be announced this Thursday, the 7th. The Seattle Post-Intelligencer speculates about possible recipients:

Danish poet Inger Christenssen frequently has been mentioned in recent years as commentators have called for the literature prize to go to a woman. The last female winner was Polish poet Wislawa Szymborska in 1996.

“It would certainly be about time for a woman,” said Anna Tillgren, with Bonniers Publishing house, “or Tomas Transtroemer,” the Swedish poet.

The other favorites include Americans Joyce Carol Oates and Philip Roth, she said.

Svante Weyler, head of Norstedts Publishing House, said the Swedish Academy also may give the prize to an Arabic or Asian writer – including Lebanese poet Ali Ahmad Said, also known as Adonis. Peruvian-born writer Mario Vargas Llosa and Germany’s Hans Magnus Enzensberger also are prime candidates, Weyler said.

A friend forwards a Nobel pool that evidently is working its way through Manhattan publishing houses. Would-be Nobel forecasters pay $2 to select the winning author, country of origin, publisher, and more, and to answer historical questions about the prize. The form says that the winning author “has been on the pool’s shortlist for five of the past six years.” This year’s list includes:

Hugo Claus, Jaan Kross, Orhan Pamuk, Bei Dao, Milan Kundera, Carlos Fuentes, Mahmoud Darwish, Ismail Kadare, Aimé Cesaire, Aharon Appelfeld, Vizma Belshevica, A.B. Yehoshua, Antonio Lobo Antunes, Pramoedya Ananta Toer, F. Sionil José, Adonis, Gyorgy Konrad, Doris Lessing, Tom Stoppard, Gennady Aigi, Les Murray, Susan Sontag, Philip Roth, Adam Zagajewski, Yashar Kemal, Mario Vargas Llosa, Janet Frame, and Ben Jelloun.


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