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Nobel Literature Prize 2017: Winner to be announced on October 5

The Swedish Academy will announce the Nobel Literature Prize laureate on Thursday, it said, turning the page on last year’s shock pick of Bob Dylan which divided the literary world.

books Updated: Oct 02, 2017 17:09 IST
Canadian writer Margaret Atwood is one of the writers often rumored to be in the running for a Nobel literature prize.
Canadian writer Margaret Atwood is one of the writers often rumored to be in the running for a Nobel literature prize.(AFP/Stephane de Sakutin)

“The Swedish Academy has decided to announce the name of this year’s Nobel Literature Prize laureate on Thursday, October 5, at 1:00 pm” (1100 GMT), the Academy wrote on its website on Monday.

The announcement will enable the 18 Academy members to draw a line under the Dylan debacle. Not only was he the first singer songwriter to win the prestigious award, he also didn’t comment on his win for several weeks and snubbed the formal prize ceremony in Stockholm in December. The choice sparked the type of publicity the discreet Academy is normally keen to avoid.

“We shouldn’t expect anything sensational” this year, predicted Clemens Poellinger, literary critic for Swedish daily Svenska Dagbladet, suggesting the Academy will make a more conservative choice.

The Academy is known for its cloak-and-dagger methods to prevent any leaks, resorting to codenames for authors and fake book covers when reading in public. Speculation is therefore always rampant about possible winners, and the same names make the rumour mill year after year.

Among them are Italy’s Claudio Magris, Kenya’s Ngugi wa Thiong’o, Canadian author Margaret Atwood, Syrian poet Adonis, Philip Roth and Don DeLillo of the US, Israel’s Amos Oz and David Grossman, Albania’s Ismail Kadare and Haruki Murakami of Japan. A newcomer dominating the buzz this year is Chinese novelist Yan Lianke.

The prize comes with nine million Swedish kronor (around $1.1 million or 937,000 euros).