Murakami is odds-on favorite for the Nobel?

I have always been a fan of the eclectic and controversial Irish betting site Paddy Power, which let you bet on everything from the next pope to whether Moody’s would downgrade a country’s credit rating. But before today I had never heard of the equally novel betting site Ladbrokes. This British cousin is taking bets on who will win the Nobel Prize for Literature this fall. 

The odds-on favorite at 7-1 is Haruki Murakami, a writer I excoriated for his passionless running memoir earlier this year.

Two Americans are in the top 10: Philip Roth and Cormac McCarthy are both currently running 16-1 odds. The last American to win was Toni Morrison in 1993, though writers in English have won eight of the last twenty times, making the language itself a handicap given how egalitarian the prize committee aspires to be. 

Filling out the top ten prospects, at least according to Ladbrokes, are the following:

The Chinese iconoclast novelist Mo Yan (though Time Magazine cautions “Given the prize committee’s distaste for success, that means he’ll probably never [win].”)

Dutch author Cees Nooteboom, who has already won every continental European prize available to him, including the Goethe Prize.

Albanian writer Ismail Kadare, who has been reportedly a nominee for the Nobel several times.

Syrian poet Adunis (or Adonis), who is my favorite to win. The Guardian calls him the greatest living poet of the Arab world.

South Korean poet Ko Un, a writer the Korean press is so convinced will win the prize that journalists have previously camped outside his house ahead of announcement day.

Italian writer Dacia Maraini, who may be damned by her continental European origins. Criticism has come in for the Nobel preferring European writers to the rest of the world. Her  greatest asset in this competition, unfortunately, is her gender. She is the only woman among the top contenders. 

Israeli writer Amos Oz, who besides being perhaps the best known of these other writers, looks eerily like Cormac McCarthy in some photographs.

Here is the full list. Note Ladbrokes is not above having a little fun, as E. L. James is among the contenders
with 500/1 odds.

Haruki Murakami 7/1
Mo Yan 12/1
Cees Nooteboom 12/1
Ismail Kadare 14/1
Adonis 14/1
Ko Un 14/1
Dacia Maraini 16/1
Philip Roth 16/1
Cormac McCarthy 16/1
Amos Oz 16/1
Alice Munro 20/1
Enrique Vila-Matas 20/1
Eduardo Mendoza Garriga 20/1
Les Murray 20/1
Ngugi wa Thiog’o 20/1
Chinua Achebe 20/1
Assia Djebar 20/1
Thomas Pynchon 20/1
Bob Dylan 20/1
Umberto Eco 25/1
Leonard Nolens 25/1
Mircea Cartarescu 25/1
Adam Zagajewski 33/1
Karl Ove Knausgard 33/1
Don DeLillo 33/1
Peter Nadas 33/1
Nurridin Farah 33/1
Joyce Carol Oates 33/1
E L Doctorow 33/1
Merethe Lindstrom 50/1
Andrea Camilleri 50/1
Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie 50/1
Chang-Rae Lee 50/1
Ian McEwan 50/1
Margeret Atwood 50/1
Gerald Murnane 50/1
Peter Carey 50/1
Bei Dao 50/1
Antonio Lobo Antunes 50/1
Ernesto Cardenal 50/1
Yves Bonnefoy 50/1
Michel Tournier 50/1
Maya Angelou 50/1
Mahasweta Devi 50/1
A B Yehoshua 50/1
Azar Nafisi 66/1
Dai Sijie 66/1
Daniel Kahneman 66/1
Javier Marias 66/1
Kazuo Ishiguro 66/1
Ursula Le Guin 66/1
David Malouf 66/1
Hanan Al-Shaykh 66/1
Salman Rushdie 66/1
Ben Okri 66/1
Herman Koch 66/1
Tom Stoppard 66/1
Colm Toibin 66/1
Claudio Magris 66/1
A S Byatt 66/1
Milan Kundera 66/1
Patrick Modiano 66/1
Juan Marse 66/1
William H Gass 66/1
Yevgeny Yevtushenko 66/1
Julian Barnes 66/1
F Sionil Jose 66/1
John Ashbery 66/1
Ulrich Holbein 100/1
Atiq Rahimi 100/1
Kjell Askildsen 100/1
Jon Fosse 100/1
Michael Ondaatje 100/1
Paul Auster 100/1
Eeva Kilpi 100/1
Vassilis Alexakis 100/1
Mary Gordon 100/1
Marge Piercy 100/1
Jonathan Littell 100/1
Juan Goytisolo 100/1
Anne Carson 100/1
Elias Khoury 100/1
Shlomo Kalo 100/1
William Trevor 100/1
Peter Handke 100/1
Victor Pelevin 100/1
Ferreira Gullar 100/1
Antonio Gamoneda 100/1
Louise Gluck 100/1
John Banville 100/1
Rajendra Bhandari 100/1
Jonathan Franzen 100/1
Christian Jungersen 100/1
Sofi Oksanen 100/1
Shyam Selvadurai 100/1
Roberto Saviano 100/1
Olga Tokarczuk 100/1
Leila Aboulela 100/1
Daniel Chavarria 100/1
Anna Funder 100/1
Tim Winton 100/1
Peter Hoeg 100/1
Gosta Agren 100/1
Michael Frayn 100/1
Carol Ann Duffy 100/1
Tadeusz Rozewicz 100/1
Per Petterson 100/1
E.L. James 500/1
One Response to “Murakami is odds-on favorite for the Nobel?”
  1. A Little Blog of Books and Other Stuff says:

    I would really like to see Murakami win this one. He’s not to everyone’s taste but his writing is truly unique and special.

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