Place Your Bets -- The 2015 Nobel Prize for Literature

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Place Your Bets -- The 2015 Nobel Prize for Literature

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Editat: oct. 5, 2015, 10:08pm

Yes, I know tomorrow the Committee is announcing the Prize in Physics. But the Lit. Prize is right around the corner. Who are you rooting for?

Odds on favorite is Svetlana Alexievitch, journalist and narrative historian known for Voices from Chernobyl. Steep hill to climb for a nonfiction writer , especially for one with roots in journalism.

Popular favorite to win is Haruki Murakami, a perennial favorite.

Tied with Murakami by the odds-makers is Ngugi Wa Thiong'o who has not broken my "event horizon" -- an author I've never heard of. A native son of Kenya, he is a professor at UC, Irvine.

Other top contenders are Americans Philip Roth, Joyce Carol Oates, and Bob Dylan (!).

Got a long-odds candidate you want to flaunt? An overlooked favorite? Remember, they've got to be living to be eligible.

I might have suggested Henning Mankell for the Prize if not for his death today. He initiated a class of writing (Scandinavian noir) and certainly lived what he wrote, which is remarkable and prize-worthy IMO.

So, please tell us who you think will win and who you think ought to win.

oct. 6, 2015, 5:26am

I think Antonio Lobo Antunes would be a great choice, and it has been some time since Saramago, his country-mate won, so there is a chance. If Joyce Carol Oates wins, well, no, things can't go THAT wrong.

oct. 6, 2015, 8:18am

I've yet to sample Haruki Murakami, but from what I understand he's more popular outside his country than within it. I think that might be what holds him out of the winner's circle.

oct. 6, 2015, 8:25am

I read one Murakami and did not enjoy the experience. I have no desire to read any others.

Editat: oct. 6, 2015, 9:46am

The two writers I'd prefer are Ngũgĩ wa Thiong'o and Amos Oz. I like Cees Nooteboom, but I haven't read enough of his work, and the same holds true for Antonio Lobos Antunes. I'm a fan of Haruki Murakami, but I can't put him in the same category as the writers I mentioned, or previous winners such as José Saramago and Mario Vargas Llosa. Assia Djebar would have been a great choice, but unfortunately she died earlier this year. My dark horse favorites include Hilary Mantel, William Trevor and Javier Cercas.

I bought books by Jon Fosse, another supposed front runner, and Svetlana Alexievitch a couple of years ago after it looked as though one of them would win, but I haven't read any of them yet.

oct. 6, 2015, 9:56am

>5 kidzdoc:, wow, you read some interesting stuff! Ngũgĩ wa Thiong'o is someone I've heard mentioned before as a contender but forgot about.

Editat: oct. 6, 2015, 10:12am

>6 Cecrow: Thanks! Ngũgĩ hasn't published any novels in nearly a decade, although his last one, Wizard of the Crow, is one of my very favorite African novels. I also loved A Grain of Wheat and The River Between (all 4-1/2 to 5 star reads), and to a slightly lesser extent Matigari, I Will Marry When I Want, and Weep Not, Child (all 4 star reads). Lately he has published several very good memoirs, including Dreams in a Time of War and In the House of the Interpreter.

My favorite book by Amos Oz is his recent autobiography, A Tale of Love and Darkness. I particularly loved his short story collections Between Friends and Scenes from Village Life, and I thought that his novels The Panther in the Basement, My Michael and The Same Sea were very good.

oct. 6, 2015, 12:01pm

I would have no problem with Bob Dylan winning this award. When I hear one of his many great songs I feel privileged to have lived and grown old in the same world.

Most of the people I read are long dead and either predate the prize and were never grandfathered in, or have already got there's. So I can make no predictions.

oct. 7, 2015, 7:30am

I would love to see Joyce Carol Oates win! I grab everything she writes and while I can't say I've loved each and every one of them, some have been outstanding and I've very much enjoyed most of her work. She's been a hot contender for years and it's about time she won.

oct. 8, 2015, 8:41am

And the winner is .... the odds on favourite that Limelite first mentioned!

oct. 8, 2015, 4:11pm

Oh, dear! Another author to add to the ever-mounting Mt. TBR.

Seriously, this is an interesting win. Nonfiction writers not being the favorites of Nobel Committees. Does anyone know of active journalists who have been awarded the prize in the past?

Anyone read this author, famous for her Chernobyl book?

oct. 11, 2015, 6:45pm

Does anyone know where I can buy her books?

oct. 11, 2015, 7:50pm

Soon, everywhere.