Wednesday, September 28, 2011

2011 Nobel Prize

The end of September finds us within days of the Swedish Academy’s announcement of its Nobel Prize winners. The announcement schedule is:

Monday, October 3rd: Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine
Tuesday, October 4th: Nobel Prize in Physics
Wednesday, October 5th: Nobel Prize in Chemistry
Friday, October 7th: Nobel Peace Prize
Monday, October 10th: Nobel Prize in Economics

The announcements can be viewed live. Traditionally the Nobel Prize in Literature does not receive a designated announcement. Instead, the Swedish Academy announces the prize sometime in the first half of October. I am unsure of the reason, but do enjoy the Christmas-morning-feel of waiting for the literature winner.

The following four American writers have been favorites the past few years:

Philip Roth
American Pastoral
Portnoy’s Complaint

Joyce Carol Oates

Cormac McCarthy
Blood Meridian
Child of God

Don DeLillo
White Noise

These three writers, coupled with the four American writers, comprise a general list of favorites:

The Pages of Day and Night
Transformations of the Lover

Ngugi wa Thiong’o
Wizard of the Crow
A Grain of Wheat

Haruki Murakami
The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle
Norwegian Wood

The Syrian poet Adonis is a perennial favorite and with the Arab Spring gripping Syria, he seems professionally and politically positioned to win this year’s prize. If I were betting (and I am not, however, numerous betting houses throughout Europe offer odds) I would take Adonis. I’d like to see Cormac McCarthy win, but American writers have not fared well since Toni Morrison won in 1993. Here's to a week of Christmas-morning-anticipation.

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