Female Nobel winners diversity and the Nobel

NOBEL WINNERS

I was  thinking  of a discussion about the winners of Nobel .After seeing a tweet from Peirene press about how many female winners of the Nobel Literature prize their have been .There have been thirteen in all –

The Nobel Prize in Literature 2013

Alice Munro

“master of the contemporary short story”

The Nobel Prize in Literature 2009

Herta Müller

“who, with the concentration of poetry and the frankness of prose, depicts the landscape of the dispossessed”

The Nobel Prize in Literature 2007

Doris Lessing

“that epicist of the female experience, who with scepticism, fire and visionary power has subjected a divided civilisation to scrutiny”

The Nobel Prize in Literature 2004

Elfriede Jelinek

“for her musical flow of voices and counter-voices in novels and plays that with extraordinary linguistic zeal reveal the absurdity of society’s clichés and their subjugating power”

The Nobel Prize in Literature 1996

Wislawa Szymborska

“for poetry that with ironic precision allows the historical and biological context to come to light in fragments of human reality”

The Nobel Prize in Literature 1993

Toni Morrison

“who in novels characterized by visionary force and poetic import, gives life to an essential aspect of American reality”

The Nobel Prize in Literature 1991

Nadine Gordimer

“who through her magnificent epic writing has – in the words of Alfred Nobel – been of very great benefit to humanity”

The Nobel Prize in Literature 1966

Nelly Sachs

“for her outstanding lyrical and dramatic writing, which interprets Israel’s destiny with touching strength”

The Nobel Prize in Literature 1945

Gabriela Mistral

“for her lyric poetry which, inspired by powerful emotions, has made her name a symbol of the idealistic aspirations of the entire Latin American world”

The Nobel Prize in Literature 1938

Pearl Buck

“for her rich and truly epic descriptions of peasant life in China and for her biographical masterpieces”

The Nobel Prize in Literature 1928

Sigrid Undset

“principally for her powerful descriptions of Northern life during the Middle Ages”

The Nobel Prize in Literature 1926

Grazia Deledda

“for her idealistically inspired writings which with plastic clarity picture the life on her native island and with depth and sympathy deal with human problems in general”

The Nobel Prize in Literature 1909

Selma Ottilia Lovisa Lagerlöf

“in appreciation of the lofty idealism, vivid imagination and spiritual perception that characterize her writings”

Thanks to Nobel for the list of winners , it seems they are addressing the lack of Female winners in a way with 4 female winners in the last decade . I have mentioned the possible winners in my last few Nobel prediction posts but there isn’t many women on this list .Svetlana Alexievich , Joyce Carol Oates , Lydia Davies , Dacia Maraini are among the names mentioned to win in recent years I would add Dasa Drndic and Marie D’Naiye myself from female writers in translation I have read .So I feel as Peirene pointed out there is a need for more female winners and maybe more diversity in General a few more African winners .I feel the fact the Nobel have lists of female winners and have said they are getting advice on world lit these day means we may have something to look forward too .

Where to start with Svetlana Alexievich any one ?#

Any suggestions for a female winner of the Nobel Lit Prize ?

 

The enigma of Modiano ?

 

Well Monday see’s the first post nobel book by Patrick Modiano come out its only on kindle for now by Yale press world republic of letters imprints are bringing out Suspended sentences a collection of three novellas by him , they are described as an ode to a bygone Paris and the dark days of Nazi rules and the writers own experience  , this sounds rather like the search warrant , which those of you that read my review know I instantly fell in love with .So we now need to know how this writer hasn’t ever really taken of in the English speaking world ? So why has this not happened , well has he not won a big prize ? no he won the Prix Goncourt ok a long time ago but it is the biggest prize in French literature , he has also won a number of big european prizes before the Nobel win so no that isn’t a reason .Not enough books ? no he has written 26 novels so there is a body of work by him .His books are they  too long ? no they tend to be below 200 pages which means they are actually cheap to translate .The style of the books tend to be Literary detective book missed with memories a sort of Sebald Eco mix so that isn’t really a reason for people not to buy them as both those writers are among the most popular selling writers in translation .Setting now this is maybe a problem a lot of his books look at the French war years , now I think in the 21st century maybe we are ready to rewrite the view of this period , yes it was bad , but people still had to live and this is at heart what a lot of his books seem to be about the everyday going ons of wartime France .He is called the New Proust I have seen , now for me this is another kiss of death line , it reminds me of the bands in the late 80’s and early 90’s that were given the tagline “The new smiths ” , i for one tend to be wary when a writer is directly compared to one of the greats of his own countries literature !! I did say on Grants post for his review of Honeymoon , which he had already order before the win after reading my review of search warrant , that maybe he was a little too subtle for English readers , in the fact that its good writing but not exciting , rather like Pamuk and LLosa both nobel winners that maybe just write  great books but not Standout books .But that said they both have been published most of their careers ,but maybe this is another reason , they have both been published mainly by one publisher were as Modiano books have come out on a number of publishers .Another reason maybe he is a little shy and isn’t interviewed a lot ,not a full enigma like Elena Ferrante or Thomas Pynchon  which maybe is a problem we like a writer we can’t see and ones we can see ,  but somepne  in-between we maybe just don’t get ! well a post of questions no answers I hope the Nobel win brings some more books by him I for one will be reading them .Maybe now he has won we will finally get to like him !

Have you a theory ?

Nobel Literature Prize 2014 Patrick modiano

The Search Warrant (eBook)

Another year waiting in front of the youtube channel for the live cast of the Nobel literature prize winner 2014 waiting for a rather splendid pair of wooden doors to open and for the world to be let in on this years winner and the winner this year  is Patrick modiano   here is an interview with the winner from France today ,I also reviewed his book The search warrant the other day , which for me is a perfect example of what they said in the announcement about memory as it is about his own family and Dora Bruder’s memories mixed together .

What time is it ? Noble time

IMG_1912.JPGW

Well as the article in the Guardian pointed out yesterday we are just a month away from The Nobel literature prize being announced is it really 12 months since Alice Munro won ? The article mentioned the fact the odds of Ngugi Wa Thiong’o had shorten greatly ,well this served as a timely reminder that  I haven’t a book by him reviewed on the blog so I hope to reread grain of wheat or read petals of blood this next week or so , is the move a sign he is going to win ,for me usually a name or two jumps up in the weeks before it is the name on the few days before that the odd shorten on the tends to be the winner .As for the other names in the running according to ladbrokes –

Murakami favourite

Assia Djebar & Ngugi Wa thiong’o joint second favourites

Svetlana Aleksijevitj  & Joyce Carol Oates third favourites

then Adonis ,Kundera ,roth ,Nadas ,Dao ,Cartarescu ,Un ,Fossee Pynchon and Eco

Well it is similar list of names to last years list and my speculation post .For me I’d throw in Krasznahorkai,Goytisolo,Vila – Matas ,Marani  and Handke as names I’d love to see win .Who would you like to see win this year ?

 

Nobel Prize for Literature 2013 is Alice Munro

Well it’s that time of year again when we stare into the world of Literature and try to guess the winner of Nobel prize it is like shooting minnows in a swimming pool many names mentioned this time the usual Nadas ,Murakami ,Djebar and Munro .New Names like Alexievich ,Fosse and Marias this year who knows the betting seems to point to Svetlana Alexievich as favourite a late run on Thoig’o and Djebar at this time half hour before this time Nobel have provide an Embedded feed here

Thanks for Lisa for heads up on this

The winner this year is Alice Munro The short story writer

Here is her Wikipedia page 

And a link to the short story the bear came over the mountain on new yorker here 

Nobel winner for 2012 in literature Mo yan

Nobel Literature prize winner for 2012 is Mo yan

He was given the for his motivation, realism , folk-tales and history .I ve yet to read Mo Yan my self but have red sorghum on my tbr pile that I ll be starting shortly and have a review of by the weekend .he is from a pheasant family left school at twelve to work in the fields ,gained his education from the Chinese army .Made his début in 1981 ,his best known book is Red sorghum that was made into a film that won an award in Berlin film festival .Franz Kafkaesque is how I ve seen him mentioned he is a  writer about rural china and the mixture of myths and supernatural world he grew up hearing from stories as a child  .He is a true rags to riches writer .

Here is his wiki page 

Here is from a recent china daily piece 

Nobel literature prize 2012 who’s going to win ?

Nobel literature prize 2012 who’s going to win ?

Well its that time of year again when people start asking who is going to win the Nobel prize for literature .In the last two days there has been posts on Complete review  where Michael discusses the betting . I must admit in recent years the winner has jumped in the betting last day .The Guardian also picked up on the betting and the fact that Haurki Murkami is favourite at the moment .So who do I think they’ll pick well it is like shooting fish in a barrel there are maybe 50 plus writers that could be in a position to win the prize .I always feel the prize is like a golden gong to say well done on being a great writer ,so the writers in the mix tend to be middle to end of their  writing life writers .Well I ll throw a few names in the mix as I have done previous years I ll go round the continents and say a few names and briefly why my feeling is it may be a Asian or African writer this year but I think I said that last year  –

Asia –

Haruki Murkami – ok 1q84 wasn’t quite the masterpiece we had all hoped it would be but has any writer such a good collection of novel,short stories and non fiction  ?

Salman Rushdie – counting that his best books are set in India and he grew up there I putting him down as Indian for this lots of good books and one great book midnight’s children is wonderful insight into India after british rule .(you could also include Rohinton Mistry and Vikram Seth both great writers .

Mo Yan – I don’t know a lot about but is called the chinese Franz Kafka ,but is only 57 .I think Chinese writers will win the Nobel but the problem is they have only in the last 15 -20 years grown in popularity in the west .But their time is coming .

Middle east –

Adonis – the Syrian poet is a Nobel speculation favourite he has been mention for years and years .I had him as one of my favourites last year with the Arab spring and with recent events in his homeland maybe this year is his .

Amos Oz – the voice of Israeli in many ways Oz has chronicle his homeland for more than 50 years ,he has won every major prize round the world bar this one .

Aharon Appelfeld – another Israeli writer Appelfeld has kept the horrors of the second world war alive in his fiction and made people think of what happened ?

Europe

 

Peter Nadas /Lazslo Krasznahorkai – I ve read books by both these Hungarian modernist in the last year they are shoulder to shoulder in my mind and the last Hungarian Nobel winner was ten years ago but for a country with such a rich heritage I wouldn’t be surprised to see one of these two win .

Juan Goytisolo – the Spaniard has long experimented with his fiction recent talk of english fiction being experimental makes me laugh Goytisolo has been doing it for decades .(Enrique Vila-Matas may also be a contender from spain )

Ulrich Holbein another writer that is always in the betting and one I ve mention a lot of times here on winstonsdad as one that needs to be translated into english .If he won how long would it take not long I ‘d say !!

Cees Nooteboom – I had an interview with Cees on the blog last year ,he is such a  talent writer poet ,novelist and travel writer  .He is too  many the voice of holland .Another writer I d like to win

Africa –

Ngugi wa thong – the Kenyan is another name that has been mention in recent years .He also recently published his first novel for twenty years the wizard which I ve on my tbr pile .

Chinua Achebe – Nigeria’s most famous writer best known for things fall apart one of the first modern african novels .

Assia Dejbar – rose high on  last year betting ,the Algerian is a member of the French academy and she is one of the  most respected writers from north Africa

Americas –

Philip Roth – I ll say same as I did last year neither Mailer or Updike won the nobel so maybe Roth should ,only concern for me is the recent books not been his best.

Alice Munro /Lorrie Moore – two great short story writers ,both have chronicle contemporary america life in their own ways .

Isabel Allende – She has long been the best female writer in latin america and not enough women from latin america have won .

Cesar Aira – The  major writer I ve missed covering and reading from Argentina ,but he has written over thirty novels .

So who do you think ?

here is the latest betting  

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 .

 

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 .

Grass calls in the translators

I listen to the BBC world service program The strand which feature a piece on the third volume of Gunter Grass auto bio /bio /fiction trilogy .The first two parts being peeling the Onion and the box .Now the third part  Grimms Wörter. Eine Liebeserklärung or in english Grimm’s Words: A Declaration of Love ,is a book in the form of a dictionary /bio involving Grass the Grimm brothers .Now this book is virtually untranslatable due to its layout and how its alphabetical layout also follows the story of grass and Grimm brothers .So grass called all his translators to meet him and be challenged to translate this book .Grass has always worked with his translators this led to the new tin drum translation in 2006 as grass felt the original cut to much of his original book, .Now he is want the translators to use their life to translate the book in to their languages ,now it seems as thou only the Dutch and Danish translators will be doing so as their languages closet to german ,there was no mention of the english translation sure one of our talented german translators my take up the challenge .

But this led to a question is the some books that can’t be translated ?

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