The Swedish Academy – the group behind the famous Nobel Prize – has announced that the winner of the 112th literature prize will be revealed on Thursday. But who will it be?
Speculation is rampant among observers and even gamblers, who can make their wagers through online brokers like the UK-based Ladbrokes. Both groups peg Belarusian author Svetlana Alexievich (pictured below) as the frontrunner.
Alexievich a somewhat surprising choice given the crowded field of literary titans. Perennial candidates Haruki Murakami, Joyce Carol Oates, and Philip Roth enjoy decent odds, as does Kenyan author Ngugi wa Thiong’o. Irish author and Booker Prize winner John Banville is also a possibility. Hungarian László Krasznahorkai (who won the Man Booker International award) and Korean poet Ko Un are both long shots.
It may seem strange that a lesser known candidate like Alexievich would be the odds-on favorite over huge names like Oates and Murakami, but the Swedish Academy is known for their obscure choices, which often seem to focus on writers who court political controversy in their home countries. Last year’s winner, Patrick Modiano, was so little known among English-speaking readers that his novels are still being frantically translated for release in the United States, the UK, and other anglophone countries.
This year, the gamblers are taking notice of the Academy’s tendencies. “Literary speculators believe we’ll see the winner come from out of left field,” Labrokes’ Alex Donohue told the Guardian.
Featured image courtesy of http://bit.ly/1M7bkDJ
–Stephen L., Staff Writer