Wednesday, October 06, 2010

2010 Nobel Prize in Literature

***UPDATE*** Mario Vargas Llosa is the 2010 recipient of the Noble Prize in Literature. The Swedish Academy said they chose the Peruvian writer "for his cartography of structures of power and his trenchant images of the individuals resistance, revolt, and defeat."

Below are some of the Nobel Laureate's most well-known novels.

The War of the End of the World

The Bad Girl

The Green House

The Time of the Hero

The Way to Paradise

I doubt American bookies offer odds on the Nobel Prize in literature. The British firm of Ladbrokes certainly does. I like the British approach: they bet on everything*. We here in the ole US of A primarily limit ourselves to sporting events. Who knew we could have been punting on whether Philip Roth's six decade output is more award-worthy than say Huraki Murkami's impressive but shorter career.

The 2010 Nobel Prize in Literature will be awarded tomorrow morning at 6:00. You may watch the award announcement here.

The going assumption over the past few years has been that the Swedish Academy shuns Americans, prefers non-English writing writers, and goes gaga for the politically oppressed. With that in mind, the smart money is firmly in Ngugi wa Thiong'o's corner. Don't hand Ngugi the check just yet though. Another soft rule to keep in mind is that the Academy does not like its announcement dampened. Since Ngugi wa Thiong'o has been championed over the past few days by so many around the world, he probably won't win.

*I do not gamble, but I get a kick out of betting companies offering odds on the Nobel Prize. Onto the odds! Sometimes Texan and all-the-time legend, Cormac McCarthy enters the announcement day as the odds-on favorite. Below are the top ten in the bookies' eyes and a selection of their notable books.

Cormac McCarthy 5/2
Blood Meridian

Ngugi wa Thiong'o 7/2
Wizard of the Crow

Haruki Murakami 6/1
The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle

Tomas Transtromer 11/1
The Half-Finished Heaven

Ko Un 12/1
The Three Way Tavern

Gerald Murnane 12/1

Adonis 13/1
The Pages of Day and Night

Les Murray 15/1
The Biplane Houses

Joyce Carol Oates 15/1

Juan Gelman 15/1
Los Mejores Poemas de Amor II

Who is your favorite for the 2010 Nobel Prize in Literature?

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