Sometime this month, the Swedish Academy will announce when this month it will announce the winner of the 2008 Nobel Prize in Literature. Because the British gamble on anything, Ladbrokes will begin taking bets tomorrow. You can see the opening odds here.
So, because speculation and betting on major literary prizes makes the world a better place, we’re going to have a pool, here at TheLMagazine.com. Claim your pick in the comments (no doubling up), and brag endlessly on the off chance that you correctly pick the winner as I did two years ago when Orhan Pamuk won.
My advice would be to peruse the list of recent winners, look at the geographic and gender distribution of the last decade or so of winners; the recent balance of novelists/poets/playwrights/essayists; take into account political activity (and contributions to world culture); and adjust for your own English-language bias.
Last year I thought incorrectly that the winner would come from the non-English-speaking world, likely be a poet or at least not primarily known for fiction, and not be one of the first names that comes into everybody’s head when they think of major living writers. I was not correct. (Though that is likely a winning strategy more years than not.)
My pick, this year, is Amos Oz (it’s time to get out of Europe; Oz is a liberal Israeli, so he’s politically relevant but not divisive). Sharon’s pick is Ian McEwan. Have at it.