Best-selling and critically acclaimed Japanese author Haruki Murakami has long been tipped to win the Nobel Prize for Literature. This year might be his year, if you believe the odds from online betting site Ladbrokes, who says he is the 3-1 favourite for one of the most coveted prizes in literature.
But despite those strong odds, guessing who’s going to win the Nobel Prize has never been an easy task, as the nominations and careful deliberations of the Nobel Committee for Literature is a tightly-kept secret by the Swedish Academy, and they release the judicial huddle conversations only 50 years after the prize has been awarded. Other contenders named by Ladbrokes this year are US author Joyce Carol Oates, Hungarian writer Peter Nádas, South Korean poet Ko Un and Canadian short story writer Alice Munro.
For the past 10 years, Murakami has always been considered, by the public and critics at least, as a frontrunner for the prize. If he does win this year, it will be a big boost ahead of the release of the English translation of his newest novel, Shikisai wo Motanai Tazaki Tsukuru to, Kare no Junrei no Toshi (“Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage”) , which is estimated to come out sometime in 2014. Not that it needs any help in terms of sales, as it already reached a million print run in its first week of release in Japan last April. The anticipation for the English translation has been building as reviews of the book has been largely positive. If he does win, he will only be the third Japanese author to achieve that feat, after Yasunari Kawabata in 1968 and Kenzaburō Ōe in 1994.
[ via The Guardian ]