The 2008 Nobel Prize in Literature: Our Office Pool

By Susan Harris

Between the World Cup and the World Series comes high season for world literature: time to place your bets on this year's candidates for the Nobel Prize in Literature. You can read two of the usual suspects, Adonis and Ko Un, right here, as well as 1988 laureate Naguib Mahfouz and, of course, any number of contenders. The Nobels will start rolling out with Physiology/Medicine on October 6 through Economics on the 13th; as always, Literature brings up the rear, at a date to be announced later. In the meantime, we invite your speculations, nominations, dark horses, wild cards, and longshots from now till Stockholm breaks the news (and a dozen writers' hearts).UPDATE OCTOBER 9: He may not have been on our lists, but he is on the site: an extract from Le Clézio's Wandering Star.



Who would I like to see win? Ismail Kadare, Javier Marias, Thomas Pynchon or Don DeLillo.  Who will win? No clue.
COMMENT: Nadeem Aslam’s “Maps for Lost Lovers” (2004) is my choice.  This British-Pakistani writer’s novel is ostensibly about two lovers and their deaths.  “Maps” in the larger sense could be inferred as the guides necessary to navigate through the pressures, self- or peer-imposed, or those pressing in from the outside alien community for poor, working-class immigrants in the mini-Pakistans they have created in Britain.


Nadeem Aslam’s words conjure up the smells of cooking, flowers, trees and the earth itself.  Though exiled in a foreign country, Aslams’s characters come to life in all their colour and complexity.



This is a beautifully written and moving book.
COMMENT: Umberto Eco is my favorit writer!
COMMENT: Nobel Prize in Literature 2008 Speculation


Okay it is time for share my guess with you i think there are 3 possibility:


Umberto Eco (In last years generally english spoken was winner & Eco is a chance for Swedish Academy to select a non spoken writer!)


Paul Auster (In my openion it is his right to win this prize but he writes in english and maybe it forced Nobel Academy dont select him)


and a syrprise name (I guess Shahrnoosh Parsipoor Iranian women opposite writer )



But last word belong to Swedish Academy!
COMMENT: Mario Vargas Llosa (peruvian) is my first choice
COMMENT: I’d like Carlos Fuentes or Ngugi W’Thiongo to snag it.
COMMENT: The betting site Ladbrokes has this year given the best odds to Italian Claudio Magris, a much better writer than Eco, in my humble, and I particularly will be glad to see him win it; Followed by perennial candidate Adonis and Israeli Amos Oz.


I think it will go to Philip Roth but I am truly supporting Haruki Murakami this year.


If the voting members have gone for Coetzee and Pamuk recently I don’t see why not Murakami, He is certainly more trascendent than Oe.
COMMENT: Yes, why not Vargas Llosa? It’s been a while for Latinamerican literature without a Nobel Prize. If the jury is not so political this time, I’d like to see him win. But that’s wishful thinking…
COMMENT: I hope Bob Dylan finally gets it.
COMMENT: noam chomsky is an excellent choise


for nobel of literature
COMMENT: Ismail Kadare is my first choice.
COMMENT: Once again, last years winner does not provide much direction in terms of who will win this year—I am guessing most likely not an American. The move to restore the gender balance may continue, so I am going with a women.



I actually like Murakami for a variety of mostly personal reasons. I had not even considered him until his name came up here, but it is way to early for him to win. A neat idea, however.



Eco is a strong choice, but like Roth I get the feeling he will never win.



I am not sure, but I do not think Latin America has won since Paz, right? ~1990…Combined with the fact that we have not had a true train wreck choice since Fo—I think that we are ready for a really bad selection this year; in other words, a play right.






Latin American.






Griselda Gambaro.
COMMENT: I disagree with a couple of thoughts from the previous poster, respectfully.


I too tought a couple of years ago that writers from the generation of Murakami would not be honoured before the Lessings, Roths, Fuentes, etc. would, But Pamuk is 56 and Coetzee is 68 and Haruki is 59 this year so certainly he fits in the age group already considered and He has an important body of works behind Him,  acclaimed by critics and public alike.



Concerning Latin America, yes there hasn’t been a laurate since my countryman Paz in 1990, and both Fuentes and Vargas Llosa are perennial frontrunners, not to mention Isabel Allende, Eduardo Galeano and Alvaro Mutis touted by certain circles, but there stands against all of them 2 facts:


It is well documented that there is not one member of the current Swedish Academy that reads spanish and


The academy tends to award the Nobel to only one member of a certain “school” and in this case Magic Realism has already taken its prize with Garcia Marquez.  A rather narrow view of Latin American writing but one that many in Sweden share, because it is until recently that our writers have started to shed this exoticism.



Finally about recent train wrecks or none since Fo, the names Xingjian, Kertesz and Jelinek spring to mind, so as always, nothing will surprise me come thursday at dawn.
COMMENT: Salman Rushdie
COMMENT: I hope Adonis makes it. Agota Kristof as well. Yoshimoto Banana as my personal preference! Definetly not Amos Oz (a very poor writer with scary political views)
COMMENT: As to a fellow Latin American getting the prize, I’d rather it doesn’t happen than Isabel Allende getting it for ripping off García Marquez’s style. Galeano? I like him, but I don’t think he’s good enough. Then again, what is good enough? Borges apparently wasn’t, but Jelinek (who seems like a nice train wreck) was.



The whole “Latin America=Magical Realism” is a big fraud. I already mentioned Borges, and I could mention Onetti and several others. Fuentes and Vargas Llosa don’t fit into that mold, despite the fact that critics love putting different authors under arbitrary tags.



I don’t think the prize will go that way; the Swedish Academy has shown time and again little regard for our literature. It does not matter too much, anyway, since Tolstoi and Joyce did not need the prize to be remembered. In fact, after so many lousy decisions, I don’t get how the Nobel still has such prestige.
COMMENT: I agree with Amos Oz’s very scary and childish political views but give me a break!! Yoshimoto’s “KITCHEN” worthy of a Nobel??? ISWTF   Line up Harry Potter in front of her!!!  I take Adonis any day before He kicks the bucket!! even Roth.


Or as a previous poster sugested: Javier Marias.
COMMENT: Anyways, we are only 7 hours away from knowing what the Swedish Academy Whims are
COMMENT: ouch! I bet:




  Latin American.





We got:









In any event, I think that this was not a horrible choice—I do not read French, but he looks like a fairly reasonable, popular writer. I will read some of his stuff this year…Thanks, David S
DATE: 10/10/2008 9:52:58 AM

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