The Nobel Prize for Literature: What are the Odds?

Adonis, AKA Ali Ahmad Said Asbar

Robert Zimmerman
 According to the British gambling website Ladbrokes, the frontrunner for this year's Nobel Prize for Literature is the 81 year old Syrian poet, Adonis (alt: Adunis). Bob Dylan, who was languishing with a 50-1 handicap a week ago has shot up to second place on the odds board. Apparently there was some sort of sympathy shift responsible for the iconic/iconoclast songwriter's meteoric rise; a lifetime of influential discourse croaked to any number of musical genres should be good enough for the Swedish academy one of these years. And speaking of Swedes, number three on the list at present is the home town favorite, poet Tomas Transtromer.

Haruki Murakami
 But at number four is my personal choice for the 2011 literature prize, Haruki Murakami. The 62 year old Japanese novelist has been compared to writers as diverse as Kurt Vonnegut Jr. and Franz Kafka. Since his career began in 1979 with the publication of Hear the Wind Sing he has been, by turns harshly criticized and lauded by the likes of Nobelist alumni, Kenzaburo Oe and others. With books like Norwegian Wood, The Wind-up Bird Chronicles, and Kafka on the Shore, Murakami has garnered a large literary following throughout the world. Will this be his year? I would bet on it.

This years Nobel Prize for Literature winner will be announced at 12:00pm (Swedish Time) Thursday 10/6/2011.