Thursday afternoon it will be announced who will be awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature this year. The same favorites are discussed every year, such as the Japanese Haruki Murakami, the Canadian Margaret Atwood or the enigmatic American Thomas Pynchon.
In the betting shops, however, the three are not necessarily far ahead, but others are: the Norwegian playwright Jon Fosse, for example, is leading in “Nicer Odds”, and the Chinese Can Xue, who writes about home and homelessness, follows right behind. And the Kenyan writer and cultural scientist Ngugi wa Thiong’o, who has also been held in high regard by betting providers for many years. However, there was not as much speculation about the Australian Gerald Murnane, who is also high up, or the Chilean poet and university professor Raul Zurita.
Also in the top ten are the Romanian poet Mircea Cartarescu, the Chinese bestselling author Yan Lianke, the Syrian-Lebanese poet Adonis, the Israeli David Grossman and the wonderful Albanian storyteller Ismail Kadare. Of course, the bookmakers have often been wrong, and the poet Louise Glück was hardly on anyone’s radar in 2020.
So: favorite or surprise? This secret will be revealed in Stockholm on Thursday afternoon. The prize winner is then traditionally presented with the prestigious Nobel medal and the associated Nobel diploma on December 10th, the anniversary of the death of the prize donor and dynamite inventor Alfred Nobel.
The Nobel Prize winners for literature in recent years
2019: Peter Handke (Austria) “for an influential work that explored peripheral areas and the specificity of human experience with linguistic ingenuity”
2020: Louise Glück (USA) “for her unmistakable poetic voice, which makes individual existence universal with austere beauty”
2021: Abdulrazak Gurnah (Tanzania / Great Britain) “for his uncompromising and compassionate understanding of the impact of colonialism and the plight of the refugee in the divide between cultures and continents”
2022: Annie Ernaux (France) “for the courage and clinical acuity with which she uncovers the roots, alienations and collective bonds of personal memory”