Here’s Who the Internet Thinks Will Win the Nobel for Literature
Here’s the thing about Awards—they come with baggage. Defining the best of the best is no easy task; the responsibility of propelling the canon is both a boon and a curse. But mostly a curse and mostly because of lack of diversity (I am looking at you, Booker 2019!).
The Nobel stands at the pinnacle of this, with no shortlist, nothing for literary critics and enthusiasts to pre-rage about, saving most of the emotional and intellectual venting for the ultimate moment, when a jury of judges announce the winner from a pool of old and new living writers of short stories, novels, poems, memoirs, and sometimes even songs (Bob Dylan won a Nobel in this category in 2016).
Last year, however, the holy grail of literary prizes ran into significant backlash during the #MeToo movement. The ‘scandal’, as popular media termed it, revolved around sexual assault allegations against a Swedish cultural heavyweight, Jean-Claude Arnault, whose wife was a member of the Nobel’s selection committee.
The entire episode led to this year’s prize being special as the Swedish Academy would announce two winners this time, that is, for 2018 and 2019.
While there is no sure-shot way of knowing which writers are in the run, here’s a look at the discussions on the prize so far.
Netizens Predict the Winner for Nobel for Literature
Netizen’s top contenders for the Nobel in Literature for 2018 and 2019 are Canadian poet and essayist Anne Carson, world-renowned Kenyan writer and academic Ngũgĩ wa Thiong’o, American writer Joyce Carol Oates, and more.
Will a Woman Writer Win the Literary Nobel?
A few on the internet also predict that the Academy could award one or both the titles to women writers in an attempt to ‘redeem’ itself.
In a 2013 article, The Atlantic delved into the betting websites, such as Ladbrokes, that could predict the Nobel winner, without actually reading the writers’ works, based on an algorithm.
This year, according to popular literary website The Literary Hub, the ‘bookies’ odds’ include Anne Carson, Ngugi Wa Thiong’o, the Chinese avant-garde fiction writer and literary critic Can Xue, the Japanese favourite Haruki Murakami, and more.
The Nobel Prize for Literature for 2018 and 2019 will be announced on Thursday, 10 October, 1:00 PM CEST.
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