Will Haruki Murakami Win This Year’s Nobel Prize?

On October 9th, the Swedish Academy will announce this year’s Nobel prize winner in literature. If you believe the betting markets, the winner may very well be critical and fan darling Haruki Murakami. Murakami has been leading the betting most of the year at British betting site Ladbrokes. Currently, they list Murakami as co-favorite with Kenyan author Ngugi Wa Thiong’o. Both are listed at 4/1 odds. Here are the likely candidates, at least according to the betting public:

  • Haruki Murakami 4/1
  • Ngugi Wa Thiong’o 4/1
  • Svetlana Aleksijevitj 6/1
  • Adonis 10/1
  • Patrick Modiano 10/1
  • Jon Fosse 12/1
  • Philip Roth 12/1
  • Peter Handke 12/1
  • Assia Djebar 14/1
  • Peter Nadas 14/1
  • Ismail Kadare 14/1
  • Joyce Carol Oates 16/1

Murakami fans should take these odds with a grain of salt though. For one thing, every year the Ladbrokes list includes names like Bob Dylan (25/1 this year) who have no shot at all of winning. (Interestingly, The Guardian notes that 65% of the Dylan bets come from Sweden.) And Murakami himself has been listed near or at the top in most recent years without winning either. That said, in the past few years the actual winner has shot up the list in the final few days. Maybe the betters know something we don’t?

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