Nobel winner 2011 ?

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 .



22 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Tony
    Oct 05, 2011 @ 01:28:01

    As much as I would love Murakami to win, this is not a popularity contest. I suspect that the favourite, Adonis, may well be the choice this year.


  2. Becky (Page Turners)
    Oct 05, 2011 @ 03:18:46

    I love your pro’s and con’s. I sadly am not familiar with most of them. Being an australian I would love to see the australian take it out 🙂


  3. parrish
    Oct 05, 2011 @ 04:26:40

    Would love murakami to win, but not expecting him to, too popular, as to elias & adonis, just read an article saying that if politics get in the way ,Israeli peace process etc may not be chosen so there’s a con, not a great one but It’s surprising how much politicing goes on behind closed doors


  4. Nana Fredua-Agyeman
    Oct 05, 2011 @ 08:08:09

    @Parrish, I hate it when politics interferes with creativity. Let the politicians play the politics. All the same Ladbrokes the betting organisation are tipping Adonis – the Syrian poet – to win. He’s leading the pack. In Africa we’re looking forward to Assia Djebar (Algeria), Ngugi wa Thiong’o (Kenya). And I still wonder why Achebe has not been considered. Though this might sound an extreme hoping or thin faith, I will be happy if he does. For Okri, like you said, he is very very young.


  5. Kinna
    Oct 05, 2011 @ 08:08:20

    Good list, Stu. I;m thinking of putting one up myself. Agree with most of the names, though I think that Roth will not get it. I also don’t think that Adonis will get it either. I’m rooting for Nadas, Ngugi, Farah and Les Murray. A poet would be nice too. Thanks.


  6. Geosi
    Oct 05, 2011 @ 12:12:41

    It is about time africans are recognised with this award….


  7. Vasilly
    Oct 05, 2011 @ 15:07:18

    I think this is a great post! There’s so much talk about the Nobel Prize right now.


  8. Kevin Faulkner
    Oct 05, 2011 @ 17:00:58

    Bob Dylan’s odds have shortened dramatically from 100 – 1 to just 10 -1 . If I were a lemming working at the Stock Exchange I would blindly follow the money ( a considerable bet has been laid to have odds shortened so much ). Dylan’s words have stood the test of time better than many of the writer’s nominated have, his one novel ‘Tarantula’ dates from 1966 though so maybe someone who has been published and read more recently.


  9. Sarah
    Oct 05, 2011 @ 18:30:39

    Love your post, Stu! Will be interested to see how your predictions pan out. I am hoping for one of the more obscure authors…


  10. JoV
    Oct 06, 2011 @ 19:13:14

    Is that time of the year again? All looks like great contender. Always a surprise but I’m rooting for Elias Khoury or Ismail Kadare


  11. Vishy
    Oct 08, 2011 @ 18:31:36

    I am late in commenting, Stu. I was surprised when I heard that Tomas Transtormer won the Nobel literature prize. I feel that Chinua Achebe, Philip Roth, Haruku Murakami, Cees Nooteboom all deserve it. I don’t know why Chinua Achebe’s name doesn’t crop up during Nobel prize discussions. It is sad.


    • winstonsdad
      Oct 11, 2011 @ 13:21:13

      I m not sure why Achebe gets missed I m hoping the next few years will see it spread it wings and acknoledge more african and asian writers hopefully ,all the best stu


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