Alice Munro at the International Festival of Authors in Toronto in 2009 (Photo: Chris Young/THE CANADIAN PRESS)
Sure, the Toronto International Film Festival opened last night, kicking off months of Oscars speculation. But well before the Academy Awards nominations are announced, the Nobel Committee for Literature will select the 110th Nobel Laureate for Literature, and like last year, Canada's revered Alice Munro is high in the running — at least, according to the British bookmaking site Ladbrokes.
Unlike the Oscars, for which the nominations are publicly announced about six weeks before the awards, the Nobel literature committee's short list and deliberations are kept secret until 50 years after the prize is awarded, reports the Guardian. That doesn't stop book lovers from engaging in feverish speculation (egged on this year by this tweet from the committee), nor does it stop Ladbrokes from venturing educated guesses at the odds.
Munro, who recently announced her retirement, is widely regarded as one of the country's greatest short story writers. Her story "The Bear Came Over The Mountain," first published in The New Yorker, formed the basis of Sarah Polley's Oscar-nominated Away From Her. The Wingham, Ontario writer is highly decorated already, having won the Man Booker International Prize, the O. Henry Award for short fiction, the Giller Prize (twice) and the Governor General's Award (three times). Ladbrokers puts her odds of winning the Nobel this year at 12-1, a marked improvement over last year's 20-1. But if she's to win, she'll have to beat out some stiff competition.
At 3-1, the odds-on favourite is Japan's much-loved Haruki Murakami, author of Norwegian Wood and The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle, followed by U.S. novelist and essayist Joyce Carol Oates (6-1), Hungarian novelist and playwright Peter Nádas (7-1) and Korean poet Ko Un (10-1). The next Canadian on Ladbrokers's list is Margaret Atwood (40-1).
The Nobel Prize in Literature will be announced this October.
Via The Guardian