Earlier this week I listed various predictions for this year’s Nobel Prizes, but I left one prize out deliberately. Other Nobel Prizes may stimulate fevered speculation, but there’s only one prize area that people really put their money where their mouths are… and that’s Literature.
Now the British bookmaker Ladbrokes has revealed its odds for this year’s Literature Prize, it’s time to start placing your bets. The two favourites are the same as last year: Syrian poet (and recipient of this year’s Goethe Prize) Adonis tops the list, as he has done for several years, at 4/1, followed by the Swedish writer and poet Tomas Tranströmer at 9/2.
A big difference in this year’s list is that the American novelist Thomas Pynchon has risen to third favourite at 10/1. And as Alison Flood at The Guardian reports, four new names feature near the top of Ladbrokes’ list: Hungarian writer Peter Nadas at 12/1, Nepali poet Rajendra Bhandari and Indian poet K Satchidanandan, both at 20/1, and Romanian author Mircea Cărtărescu at 25/1. Recent Literature Laureates, such as Mario Vargas Llosa and JMG Le Clézio were around these odds; could these names have been leaked as being on the shortlist, speculates MA Orthofer at the Literary Saloon?
Online betting site Victor Chandler has also put up its list, with American novelist and playwright Cormac McCarthy as the 7/1 favourite. If you fancy an outside bet, you can get odds of 33/1 for Bob Dylan, or 50/1 for JK Rowling.
If the betting is anything like last year, there’s bound to be a great deal of movement as speculation increases in the run-up to the announcement. Speaking of speculation, the Literary Saloon has a roundup of the current gossip and predictions for the Literature Prize. On the World Literature Forum, poets appear to be popular predictions, as are American writers. People are clearly hoping that the controversial remarks made by the former head of the Literature Committee about US writers being insular can finally be erased. I’ll keep you up-to-date with the latest speculation as it happens.