Famous Japanese author and translator Haruki Murakami is seen as this year’s possible winner of Nobel Prize in Literature. According to the British bookmaker Ladbrokes, Murakami has 3-1 odds of receiving the laureate. The winner of the prestigious award will be announced either October 10 or 17 and will be posted the following Monday on the website of the Swedish Academy, host of the Nobel Foundation.
The 64-year old writer is known for his references to Western pop-culture, and even Jazz music. He is also considered a world-class writer, albeit his surrealistic works, for his rare ability to draw audience from people of different cultures. Although critically acclaimed, with fans all over the world, Murakami is yet to win the Nobel Prize. However, the Waseda University graduate has already won The Franz Kafka Prize and the Jerusalem Prize.
According to Takeshi Usami, a professor of Literature at Chuo University, the works of Murakami “may have been perceived as lacking a strong thesis or purpose, and maybe that’s one reason he hasn’t won the Nobel Prize yet.” Usami also said that Murakami’s novels are not so political compared to Kenzaburo Oe, winner of the 1994 Nobel Prize in Literature. The first Japanese author who won the laureate was Yasunari Kawabata in 1968.
There is no denying that Murakami stands out among Japanese authors. Back in April, the Tokyo branch of Books Sanseido had to open three hours earlier when Murakami’s latest novel – Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage – was released, as people could hardly wait to get their hands on it. “Mr. Murakami’s novels generate massive sales compared with other authors,” Tsuneo Matsushita, the bookstore’s assistant manager, said. “Whenever he releases a new novel — be it every three or five years — there’s an upsurge in interest.” However, English-speaking fans of Murakami are yet to wait until 2014 for the international release of Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage.
[via Wall Street Journal]