Well its nobel time again the yearly award that in last few years has got harder to call as the choices seem more obscure to us english language readers but not on the world stage so I ll throw a number of names up and why they could and why they couldn’t from favourites I ve seen mention and my own feelings –
Philip Roth – well he is the one I feel will win as it has been a long time since an us winner and he is probably the last of the big writers from sixties ie mailer and Updike etc .
PROS – well-known ,make up for Updike or mailer not winning Nobel
CONS – has won man booker this year ,recent books not as good as earlier cannon .
Juan Goytisolo – father of modern spanish writing ,
PROS – he is in Nobel mode of recent years tends to be experimental in his fiction ,best regarded living writer in Spain
CONS – rare for two writers from same language to win in following years
Haruki Murakami Japans best known writer
PROS – he’d be a very popular and well-known choice ,his masterpiece has just come out iq84 due in english soon
CONS – maybe to young ,maybe to well-known
Elias Khoury -my favourite arabic writer (I ll also note the Syrian poet Adonis I ve note read him but he’d have similar reasons to Khoury )
PROS – he is just a wonderful writer ,also with Arab spring be nice to see a voice of Arabic world chosen .
CONS – none really he be a great choice
Ben Okri – I like him enough said and have met him and he is so passionate about fiction
Pros does a lot to promote literacy and reading ,African winner is need at some point
CONS – too young ,maybe not lived up to early promise fully
Ismail Kadare – Has been on the list of contenders a number of times
PROS – Has not written a bad novel ,a new language to win the Nobel prize
CONS – Maybe should have won and as Michael Orther said to me on twitter there has been a lot of eastern european winners .
Ulrich Holbein – the German writer yet to be translated to English ,did shoot up last year in odds .
PRO – obscure ,experimental
CONS – Not well-known outside Germany
Cees Nooteboom – Hollands greatest living writer and master of numerous styles of writing poetry ,fiction and travel writing .
PRO – truly talented
CONS – none really he would be the ideal winner
Peter Nadas – the Hungarian master
Pro – maybe the best living writer (as I draw to end of his latest book)
Cons – he has not written a lot as a slow writer .
my tenth choice is a handful of names I ve not read but heard mentioned
Ko Un – Korean poet
Les Murray – Australian Poet
Antonio lobo Antunes – Portuguese writer (frank Wynne suggested I read him ,still waiting for library copy )
Ngugi wa Thiong’o – Kenyan writer ~(read him but one book many years ago)
Here are the odds on Ladbrokes a big move up odds , late on is usually sign of the winner .