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Nobel Prize Announcement Thursday: Arabs in the Betting


The winner of the 2014 Nobel Prize for Literature will be revealed this Thursday. There’s no way of knowing who is on the Swedish Academy’s shortlist — at least not until the archives are opened up fifty years from now — but we do know who’s on the betting rolls:

nobelAt the top of the list is Kenyan writer Ngũgĩ wa Thiong’o, which would be a wonderful shift away from European writing to an author who has written significant creative work and also done it in Gikuyu. But he’s also been the bookies’ favorite before.

Perhaps the biggest disappointment in the Arabic literary sphere: Elias Khoury was not included in this year’s betting rolls at all. Indeed, after several years with a marked interest in Arab authors (in the last several years Elias Khoury, Ghassan Zaqtan, Hanan al-Shaykh, Nawal al-Saadawi, and Leila Aboulela have all made the betting rolls, in addition to perennial list-ees Adonis and Assia…

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