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Israeli writer favourite for literature Nobel

Israeli writer Amos Oz is favourite to be picked for the 2009 Nobel literature prize next Thursday, but with the judging notoriously hard to predict, he is far from a safe bet.

world Updated: Oct 03, 2009 02:52 IST

Israeli writer Amos Oz is favourite to be picked for the 2009 Nobel literature prize next Thursday, but with the judging notoriously hard to predict, he is far from a safe bet.

Oz, who deals with life in modern Israel in his novels, and reflects decades of commitment to the Israeli peace movement in his political writing, is quoted at 4/1 by the British bookmaker Ladbrokes, meaning he has one chance in five of winning.

But Oz was also tipped last year, when Frenchman Jean-Marie Gustave Le Clezio won the award.

Joint second favourites are the Algerian novelist Assia Djebar and the American writer Joyce Carol Oates, both at 5/1.

Whoever wins the 10 million Swedish crown ($1.4 million) purse, the decision is likely to enrage as many as it pleases.

Adding spice to attempts to guess this year’s winner is debate about whether an American could take home the gold medal that goes with the kudos and cash.