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Literature Nobel likely to be announced next week

Syrian poet Adonis is the bookies' favourite. US novelist Joyce Carol Oates is bookmaker Ladbrokes' second favourite.

india Updated: Oct 07, 2005 10:09 IST
Reuters
Reuters
PTI

The Swedish Academy which awards the Nobel Literature Prize is likely to name the 2005 winner next Thursday.

The Academy traditionally announces the winner of the 10 million crown ($1.29 million) prize on one of the first two Thursdays of October, but only confirms the date of the announcement two days in advance.

There was no advance notice this week, meaning it is almost certain to announce next Tuesday that the latest laureate will be named two days later. Officials at the Academy declined comment.

The Academy never publishes or leaks its shortlist of contenders, but speculation about who could win centres for the second year running on an Arab laureate, with the Middle East conflict and the Iraq war still prominent in the news. That makes Syrian poet Adonis the bookies' favourite.

US novelist Joyce Carol Oates is bookmaker Ladbrokes' second favourite. Two more poets are high in the stakes -- Ko Un of South Korea and Swede Thomas Transtromer -- since no poet has won since Chinese-born Gao Xingjian in 2000.

The Academy is often accused of being obscure in tastes and favouring leftist candidates -- even Austria was surprised when radical novelist and playwright Elfriede Jelinek won last year.

Academy head Horace Engdahlsaid last week that the Nobel prize committee paid "no attention whatsoever" to the political tendencies of writers on their secret shortlist.

He said the Nobel's aim was to "direct the attention of the reading public to great writers that are sometimes only appreciated in their country of origin or known only to a small circle of cognoscenti."

First Published: Oct 07, 2005 10:09 IST